NORTH MANKATO — During the first year of the ArtSplash Art Fair in 2004, there were only nine vendor booths.
By year five, the annual art fair had completely filled the field outside of the North Mankato Taylor Library. Last year, that field was not only full — but vendor booths were stationed around the outside of the library as well. This year — which marks the fair's 10th anniversary and will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday — some of the artists will have to be housed inside the nearby North Mankato Police Annex.
Though the event is free, all proceeds from food, activities and silent auction benefit the library and the Riverside Regional Pet Shelter. All participating artist vendors donate one work of art to the silent auction.
In addition to dozens of artists, the event also includes a full lineup of live music and activities, from face painting and wiener dog races to an aluminum foil sculpture contest. Organizers planned the contest in commemoration of the event's 10th anniversary and results are on display at the library. Voting for a people's choice winner remains open until 1 p.m.
Further activities include a try-your-hand demo booth for children, a balloon artist and plein-air artist. Organizers will also be sharing anniversary cake.
The musical lineup includes: Paul Knutson, Lonesome Ron, The Bandanas, and Johnny Frost and the Heat Seekers