By Mary Gillespie Chamber Director Western Fest is almost here! This year's Kiddie Carnival on Wednesday, June 21 at Rice Park will be bigger and better with more activities added for older children. It will be open from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and all proceeds go to the Western Fest Royalty Committee. Plan a family night out with a meal at the Ambulance Squad's Burger and Brats stand, the Western Fest Kiddie Parade and a trip across the footbridge to the Kiddie Carnival. I'd love to see more participation in the Kiddie Parade, this year we're offering separate prizes for a float and individuals to encourage more kids to use their imagination and get in the parade! Subject matter is open.

The winner in each category gets $100 in chamber bucks to spend anywhere in Granite Falls as long as the business is a chamber member. There will be two runner up prizes of $25 in each category. So let's see what wonderful ideas you can come up with for the parade! To register, call the chamber office at 320-564-4039 so we can announce your entry correctly. ---------- Another Riverside Market and Muse is happening this Saturday, June 10! Vendors can set up for free along the downtown plazas. This month features a series of acting and theater workshops with a music jam session at 4:00 p.m. Professional actors and musicians from the Sod House Theater (www.sodhousetheater.org) are hosting these workshops so don't miss a chance to attend and learn from the experts.

They're free and open to anyone! At noon on Saturday, the Granite Falls participants for the August production of "An Enemy of the People" will be chosen. Further rehearsals will be held the week of August 14-20 with the performances on August 18, 19 and 20. Theater, music and all types of art adds to the economy and vibrancy of our small town. It's a reason for people to visit and creates a great place to live. We're so fortunate to have an art gallery right on main street and an active arts council. The chamber and EDA, along with individual artists, are working on a public art grant using poetry and other art forms to create a unique river walk experience along our beautiful Minnesota River. ---------- Learn from the expert on Tuesday, June 13 at noon, Granite Falls City Hall. Meet Google Trusted Photographer, Sally Weleczki-Cmiel at a Google Business and Google 360˚ session. Sally will be able to expedite getting your business online and will talk about the Google 360˚ opportunity. This is a great opportunity for Granite Falls' businesses!