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'Art on the Red' organizers tout successes of Grand Forks event

Art on the Red swept through downtown Grand Forks this past weekend, bringing with it almost 120 arts, crafts and food vendors and multiple musical performances.

Ecuador Manta, an Ecuadoran band based in St. Paul, played traditional music at Art on the Red Saturday in Grand Forks. From left, Alfonso Burga, Fernando Utreras and Wilson Caseras. (Andrew Hazzard / Grand Forks Herald)
Ecuador Manta, an Ecuadoran band based in St. Paul, played traditional music at Art on the Red Saturday in Grand Forks. From left, Alfonso Burga, Fernando Utreras and Wilson Caseras. (Andrew Hazzard / Grand Forks Herald)

Art on the Red swept through downtown Grand Forks this past weekend, bringing with it almost 120 arts, crafts and food vendors and multiple musical performances.

Kristi Mishler, an organizer with the event, said attendance appears as robust as ever, appearing to hit the 30,000-guest mark that it often has in the past. Though the number of vendors is down by about 20 from last year-the booths didn't extend into East Grand Forks-Mishler still described the event as successful.

Mishler also pointed out new musical offerings this year, like a street dance held in the evening on Kittson Avenue. She said she hopes to continue building upon a singing competition held this year.

Mishler said the event was slightly hampered by the recent reorganization in the local arts community. Art on the Red has previously been known as Grand Cities Art Fest and was organized by the North Valley Arts Council. This year, the event was organized by the Public Arts Commission, which has assumed a higher profile since NoVAC has been displaced and dissolved. As a result, Mishler said, planning for the event began late.

"It was really good," she said. "I think the 65 percent (of vendors) I talked to, about 90 percent said their sales had increased since last year. Overall, it seemed like a really good vibe. The food market piece, it seemed like we had a lot of different cultures represented."

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