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Art in the Park Festival Celebrates the Arts

By Madelyn Bergey and Melissa Wray, May 25, 2023

Art in the Park draws thousands of visitors from around the area to Lanesboro each June to celebrate art. (Submitted photo)

Art in the Park Festival Celebrates the Arts

LANESBORO, MN — As the seasons finally lean towards summer, a multitude of community events start to pop up on our calendars. Perhaps one of the most anticipated and beloved traditions is the annual Art in the Park fine art festival. 

2023 marked the 42nd year of this long-standing event, taking place Saturday, June 17th, in Lanesboro’s scenic Sylvan Park. The festival typically features more than 80 fine art and craft booths, with live music and food trucks at the center of it all. Hosted by Lanesboro Arts—a multidisciplinary nonprofit organization supporting art and artists in the greater Lanesboro area—the annual Art in the Park festival is southern Minnesota’s longest running fine art fair.

Its earliest roots

The first Art in the Park featured Norwegian fiddle playing, a wool spinning demonstration, food booths, and local arts and crafts. Today, the festival provides space for artists to display and sell their work as well as connect with other artists, community members, and visitors. Renowned for quality, variety and value, Art in the Park attracts thousands of regional patrons to Sylvan Park in Lanesboro each year.

Art in the Park was started in the early 1980s by the Lanesboro Art Council. As the art scene grew, the council eventually became Lanesboro Art Center after merging with the Cornucopia Art Center, which was based in the present-day Lanesboro Arts Gallery building. After expanding programs, the organization changed its name to Lanesboro Arts in order to better reflect the various art programs offered around the Lanesboro community’s Arts Campus. Art in the Park’s legacy has stayed strong over the years due largely to its community-centered approach and celebration of art. 

Lanesboro Arts Executive Director Kara Maloney explains this legacy: “The event continues to evolve as the organization grows and changes but the heart of the festival still remains steadfast. It’s really a keystone event for the work we do, bringing community and visitors together to celebrate art, and making art accessible for all.”

Lanesboro Arts works to empower and create opportunities for artists by selling their artwork in its juried art sales gallery, featuring their work in special exhibitions, performing at the St. Mane Theatre, or spending time as an artist-in-residence. Lanesboro Arts also offers art education opportunities for children and adults.


More than 80 fine art and craft vendors booths will be on display at the 42nd annual Art in the Park. (Submitted photo)


Artists from the tri-state region, who set up in Lanesboro’s Sylvan Park, exhibit paintings, photography, fine jewelry, textile rugs and quilts, hand-thrown ceramics, stained glass, original paintings, blown and fused glass sculptures, artworks utilizing reclaimed wood, stoneware, clay pottery, metalwork, woven baskets, homemade embroidery, and more. Art in the Park also features a variety of family art activities for all ages. This festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering visitors ample time to admire the fine art, connect with numerous artists, eat lunch at one of the stands, and enjoy the live music.

What do the artists think of Art in the Park? “We have these cool musicians, we have these great artists, all different mediums, it’s wonderfully set up,” says regular past participating artist Jake Jensen. “It’s a community event, there’s people coming together. You can’t get that when you sell things online.”

The event focuses on family-friendly fun, including the annual Lanesboro Arts Tie Booth, a creative art activity for kids of all ages to make a tie – for a father figure, themselves, or for anyone – in honor of Father’s Day weekend. Other family-friendly activities include bubbles, photo opp stations, face painting, a caricature artist, and more.

In the years to come, we hope to see many of you at Art in the Park–soak in the incredible creativity, talent, and community that our corner of southeast Minnesota has to offer! Be sure to bring a friend.



Madelyn Bergey is a southeastern-Minnesota native and graduate of Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, Minnesota. Throughout the spring 2023 semester, she was a work-study intern at Lanesboro Arts. She enjoys exploring various art forms, mediums, and their ability to convey messages. Beginning in fall 2023, she will attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, to major in Gender and Sexuality Studies with a potential double major in Studio Art.


Melissa Wray is Program Director at Lanesboro Arts. She is also the founding director of Mainspring, a Houston County-based cultural center in Caledonia. Melissa has a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership from the University of Minnesota. In 2022, she was awarded a two-year Rural Regenerator Fellowship through Springboard for the Arts.

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