Celebrations for Marine Mills Folk School’s fourth birthday include an artists’ market with more than 40 high-quality artisans and vendors.
Before the Covid pandemic, the Marines in St. Croix held their annual art fair on the third weekend of September as a benefit for the Marine Fire Department. After a hiatus of many years, the Marine Mills Folk School is taking steps to bring back an art fair – with a new name, new activities and a new purpose: primarily to support Marine Mills Folk School and area artisans.
The Marine Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, September 17th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Marine Mills Folk School (550 Pine St.), moving the location from downtown to “uptown” Marine.
Skilled artisans will be a major component of the Fall Festival. More than 40 artists and vendors will be at the artists’ market offering everything from buffalo fiber and art glass to wood carvings, pottery, and paintings, as well as herbs, maple syrup, candles, and more. Many participants will also exhibit their art.
In lieu of an entry fee, artists donate a handmade work of art or object valued at $50 or more. Items will be raffled off to attendees as a fundraiser for the Folk School. Tickets will be available for purchase onsite and winners will be drawn at the end of the festival. Winners do not need to be present to claim their prize.
The party is in celebration of Marine Mills Folk School’s fourth birthday and, like a great birthday party, includes treats and activities for both kids and adults. Host Lisa
Weyrauch and Kirsten Skoglund plan activities that show what folk schools are all about. (Folk schools were introduced in the United States in the early 20th century and emphasize the preservation and teaching of traditional arts and crafts.)
For example, it is fun to watch sheep herding demonstrations by Koru farms and highlight the connection between wool and crafts related to fiber.
Civilian reenactors from the Living History Society will be onsite and offer festival-goers opportunities to play and interact with toys and games that were used by children in the 19th century, such as balls in a cup, Bilbo Catcher, cloth dolls and more. Children and their caregivers will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and learn how children were entertained before the invention of TVs, computers and plastics. Weather-permitting, festival-goers will also observe a 19th-century picnic.
There will also be live music by participants from the North Shore Trail and Folk School’s Bluegrass Jam Sessions, and clogging performances. The Marine Fire Department will be onsite and Folk Vidyalaya will collect donations on their behalf.
Food will be available for purchase from the Scandia-Marine Lions Club food truck.
“For nearly 50 years, the Marine Art Fair was held on the third weekend in September,” says Robin Brooksbank, founder and board president of the Marine Mills Folk School. “When the fair was canceled several years ago, Folk Vidyalaya admitted that many visitors missed the art fair. We feel the folk school traditions are perfect for the festival and are delighted to host an event that will bring people to town and celebrate handmade products and skills.”
After the Festival “Uptown” concludes, attendees are encouraged to visit downtown Marine on St. Croix to visit Änna’s Bistro, Marine General Store, ‘Nita Mae’s Scoop, St. Croix Chocolate Company, St. More food, drinks and desserts from Croix. Coffee Roasters, and Brookside Bar & Grill, which will host live music. Marine ArtReach St. by American contemporary artist Mary Jo Van Dale in her St. Croix studio. Croix’s will be open along with several nearby pottery studios as part of the Take Me to the River program.
The Ocean Fall Festival is family-friendly, and is free and open to the public. Sponsors include Scandia-Marin Lions Club and Security State Bank of Marin. Find current information online at marinemillsfolkschool.org.
About Marine Mills Folk School
Founded in 2018, Marine Mills Folk School’s mission is to support and strengthen connections by inviting all people to discover the joy of learning and creating together. Located in Marine on St. Croix, MN, the school offers adult and intergenerational classes in traditional arts and crafts skills. Learn more at marinemillsfolkschool.org.