Anyone who grew up in a small town in the 1940s and 50s can remember how much fun it was to come to town on the weekend to connect with friends and family on Main Street. It was a time for town and country to mix and mingle thorough music, dance, food, drink and fancy cars. All of that will be recreated on Friday, October 4 from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. in downtown Granite Falls as part of the annual Meander Opening Night Celebration. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The evening will get underway at 4:00 p.m. with poetry being read by students from the Montevideo Schools. Students will gather in the K.K. Berge Building to read their original compositions describing the river, the wildlife, the rocks and the stories of the people who live in the Upper Minnesota River Meander Region. Poet and longtime resident of the river valley, Florence Dacey will also read poetry and tell tales of her recent visit to Ireland beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The K.K. Berge Gallery will feature a variety of Meander Artists at 807 Prentice Street in downtown Granite Falls. Visitors to the Gallery will see a representative sample of work from 20 of the 45 artists who are involved in the Meander Arts Crawl, which is celebrating its 10th year.
At 6:00 p.m. Opening Night Celebration visitors will be encouraged to walk the streets and visit the shops and art studios amidst an antique car show featuring vehicles from the 1940's and 50's on Main Street. Meander tourists are encouraged to dress up in the style of the 1940s and 50's to help set the scene and create the historical mood of the evening.
In this setting, the premiere of an outdoor walking theater production entitled Granite Falls: Saturday Nights!!! will be performed starting at 7 p.m. on Main Street. Local volunteer actors and musicians will take part in a unique play where the audience walks with the cast down the street as they are treated to song and soliloquy about life of Granite Fall's Main Street in the hey days after WWII. The play is written and directed by Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions and it will be performed free of charge, thanks to sponsorships by a wide variety of Granite Falls based businesses, organizations and the City of Granite Falls.
After the play at 8:30, live big band music will begin on Main Street to the sounds of the Echo's 1940's Swing Music band. It is hoped that street dancing will ensue and those who just want to sit and listen are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy the music.
Throughout the evening, food will be available at the Granite Falls American Legion, Jimmy's Pizza, Carl's Bakery and the famous Kiwanis Club Popcorn stand. Granite Falls Main Street shops will be open for business and the art studios of Gene Stukel, Claire Swanson, Brad Hall, Curt and Paula Soine and Dale & Jo Pederson will be welcoming visitors during the entire the weekend.
Page 2 of 2 - The Opening Night Celebration is part of the 10th annual Meander Arts Crawl event, being held on October 4, 5 & 6th, 2013. The award winning Meander is a free self-guided tour of artist studios featuring 45 local artists from the Upper Minnesota River Valley. The Meander has become a tradition for friends and relatives experience the "hidden gem" art studios, small towns and family farms to be found along the tributaries of the Minnesota River.
A free brochure detailing the locations of the art shows will be sent to anyone who calls 1-866-866-5432. The brochure can also be downloaded from the web at: www.artsmeander.com. More information can also be found on the Meander Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MeanderArtCrawl.