The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 16, 2014

Briefs: Changes to Solstice music festival; Teen dance party at the Kato

Solstice adds third day, talent competition

Organizers for the Solstice music festival have announced a number of changes to this year's event.

The festival has now been extended to three days and will be held June 13-15. The festivities begin Friday at Buster's Sports Bar and Grill and continue Saturday and Sunday at Riverfront Park with 11 bands from around the region.

Also on Sunday, organizers have added a youth talent competition, "Mankato Kids Got Talent." Students will be nominated by their music teachers and a panel of judges will select 15 finalists to perform between bands. Judges will also choose two students to receive a recording session at Two Fish Studios.

Finally, organizers will be collecting gently used instruments as well as donations to be used for instrument repairs. Those proceeds will be given to Mankato area music programs to allow less fortunate students to have access to instruments.

Presale tickets are available at Cub Foods, Park Lane Liquors and Buster's. Tickets are $20 (weekend pass), $5 (ages 8-14) and free for ages 7 and under. Single-day tickets are $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. All tickets are donations.

■ Additionally, the Solstice Committee is seeking volunteers and sponsors for the festival.

Volunteers will have a choice of how they would like to help, including parking, gate, security and grounds. Each volunteer working a shift will receive free admission, refreshments and a Solstice T-shirt. Those interested may sign up online at http://www.mankatosolstice.com. Sponsorships are available upon request for area businesses.

For more, visit http://www.mankatosolstice.com or call 507-388-2506.

Teen dance party at Kato Ballroom

MANKATO — The Kato Ballroom is hosting the first in what new owner Tania Cordes hopes is a series of teen dance parties, “Thunder Struck at the Kato,” from 8-11 p.m. on Friday.

The production is led by Mega Matt and his sound and light show. Songs requests are taken and adult supervision is provided. Cover charge is $13 (or, $10 plus free popcorn for people who “like” the Facebook page).

"Many parents mentioned that there is a lack of good things for teens to do," Cordes said. "My main goal in doing these is to create a safe, fun place for teens to go and make new memories."

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