Runway show coming at Crossing

The Crossing Arts Alliance announces a new exhibit, "Art to Wear: Textiles and Beyond" in the gallery for September. This show challenged artists to create wearable art that prioritizes creativity over practicality, it stated in a news release.

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An opening reception with a runway show will be from 7-9 a.m. Sept. 8, with the runway show starting at 7 p.m. at The Crossing Arts Alliance's new location at 711 Laurel St. in downtown Brainerd. Wine and chocolate will be served. A free-will offering will be accepted at the door. The work will hang in the gallery through Sept. 26.

Wearable Art from the following artists will be on display from Carolyn Abbott, Kathy Bardolph, Erik Hagberg, Katie Hogan, Lisa Jordan, Debbie Krautkremer, Molly Mae Krautkremer, Martin Nelson and HollyRose McKnight, Karla Overland, Diane Runberg, Ellen Smith and Chase Vreeland.

Deadline for writing contest coming

There is still time to enter the 2017 Brainerd Writers Alliance writing contest. People can submit their work in all categories for one $15 entry fee: one entry in fiction, one in creative non-fiction not to exceed 2,500 words and up to three poems. Poetry cannot be more than 40 lines per poem. Entries must be postmarked by Aug. 30.

Mail entries to: BWA Writers Contest, 30755 Old Highway 371, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472. Winners receive cash prizes and are invited to read their entries at BWA's Fall Writers Festival Oct. 28 at the Northland Arboretum. Go to to view full contest rules and updates regarding the festival. Contact contest chair at 218-828-7750 or with questions.

Dance classes set at St. Francis Music Center

LITTLE FALLS-Dance lessons for ages 3 and up will be offered at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls, starting Sept. 16.

Dance classes follow a strong, age-appropriate dance curriculum designed to give young students an introduction to dance that covers basics in tap, ballet, jazz and creative movement. The main goal of the dance program is to teach dancers to be creative, physically fit, flexible, confident and artistic.

Dance classes will meet Saturday mornings. Classes for 3-year-olds is from 9-9:30 a.m.; 4-and 5-year-olds will meet from 9:30-10:15 a.m.; 6-to 11-year-olds from 10:15-11 a.m., and 12 years and up from 11-11:45 a.m.

Missy O'Connell is the dance instructor. She is a group exercise instructor at the St. Cloud Family YMCA and is a kindergarten teacher at Athlos Academy. O'Connell also dances with the Minnesota Dance Ensemble, a nonprofit dance company specializing in modern and jazz.  To register for fall dance classes, visit and click on "Register Now."

For questions or more information, please call St. Francis Music Center at 320-632-0637.

Little Falls book sale set

LITTLE FALLS-Friends of the Little Falls Library will host its annual fall book Sept. 7-9 at the Little Falls Carnegie Library.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 7; noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 8; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 9.

The friends are accepting donations for the annual sale, which includes gently used books.

Books cover of every genre and interest, from do it yourself to self-help to the latest best sellers and award winners will be on sale. The books will cover the tables and floor of the meeting room at the library for three days, with the last day, Sept. 9, being $2 a bag day. Special members only sale will be 5-7 p.m. Sept. 6 for those with their membership card or identification.

There are two book sales a year which are fundraisers for the Little Falls library supporting programming, acquisitions and outreach.

Salsa Fest coming to Long Prairie

LONG PRAIRIE-The Sustainable Farming Association will host Minnesota Salsa Fest from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Todd County Fairgrounds in Long Prairie that will bring together salsa lovers from all over the state to enjoy live music, salsa tasting, local food vendors and artisan shopping and a salsa contest.

This event aims to spotlight all things salsa-related showcasing Mexican food from Taqueria Chavez and Griff's Pizza, both in Long Prairie and El Portal in Melrose with live music with Diamond of Mexico, salsa-making demonstrations, a salsa contest, salsa ice cream for sample and sale developed by the University of Minnesota Ice Cream Lab and served by the Todd County dairy princesses. The goal of the event is to build friendships, raise awareness of SFA, and support local growers and producers by giving them a new marketing opportunity to compete with their salsa recipes and/or sell their goods.

Tickets are $5 per person at the gate and kids 12 and under are free.

The event is a fundraiser for the SFA as it continues to teach the importance of sustainable

agriculture in protecting and restoring soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat and air quality.

Current sponsors include Local Harvest Market, the University of Minnesota Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the Initiative Foundation, Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace, CentraCare, Finnegans Brewing, CentraCare, Long Prairie Farmers Market, Long Prairie Sanitation and Cass County Farm Bureau.

Two events still succeed despite rain

Organizers of the 12th annual Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River and the 25th annual Artisans' Fair in Crosslake both reported success of the events despite the rainy weather.

Concerts moved to the indoor stage Saturday and Sunday and not a single performance was cancelled in the bluegrass festival, Tim Roggenkamp stated in a news release.

"We are very blessed to have an indoor venue," he stated. "We were hoping never to have to use it, but we were sure glad to have it. We were able to continue on with all of the band performances and the fans were able to stay warm and dry while enjoying the music. We do have tents for rain and sun protection in the outdoor concert area, but since the rain was going to last all day, we decided to move inside. This was our first washout in 12 years. We've had showers and few storms in the past, but nothing like this that lasted for two days.The fans, the performers and the volunteers were all troopers and made the very best of the situation."

While the day ticket sales were understandably down, the overall numbers were quite strong due to a record number of all-weekend attendee's, Roggenkamp stated.

Organizers of the Artisans' Fair held Aug. 13 at the Historic Log Village in Crosslake stated artisans braved the weather to set up demonstrations and displays to experience an enjoyable

day. The Village was complete with costumed volunteers who directed guests through the historic buildings and described artifacts.

Blue Skies and bluegrass in the bandstand

Kingery Family, from southern Minnesota, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, in the Gregory Park bandstand in Brainerd.

Their style of music is bluegrass with a vision, it stated in a news release. The Kingery Family began as a family of 10-Mike, Chris, and their eight children singing and ministering together through music. It has grown to include two sons-in-law and grandchildren and they have enjoyed singing together for the past nine years. They sing primarily gospel bluegrass music while also incorporating fiddle, patriotic, Americana and a capella.

"Their combination of tight harmonies, uplifting songs and family unity are sure to encourage," it stated in the news release. "The Kingery family's hope is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to point others to Him."

Bandstand concerts are free and open to the public. People can bring a lawn chair, a blanket and be ready to enjoy the music. Rain out site is at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

Concerts in the park are collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Additional supporting sponsors are the Brainerd Community Foundation, Brainerd Lions, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and the BN Credit Union.