By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Now in its seventh year, the Green Fair Folk Festival sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters in Little Falls is a summer highlight.
Wednesday, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., 46 vendors will offer information, entertain and delight attendees. Exhibits include food, health care, handcrafted items and other artistic and community activities.
Something new this year are free wagon rides provided by Jeff and Sue Burg of Horse Power Acres in Holdingford. The rides are sponsored by local businesses.
The Teddy Bear Clinic and Stuffed Animal Adoption Center return again this year to help patch up stuffed animal companions. Professional face painters will be available.
“There are currently six people signed up for the fiddle contest, but more sign up the closer we get,” said St. Francis Publications Specialist Anne Heisick. “The Rick family of Browerville will be performing gospel and bluegrass music.”
Also new this year is a booth sponsored by Great River Writers. Local writers Laura Hansen, Theresa Arvela and Dan Dambowy will be there, with guest writers Gene R. Stark and Catherine “Cat” Holm.
Four to five groups from the URock youth band camp will share their music. The Woodland Strings group and Sestri Women’s Chorus will also perform.
Persons attending the fair will again have the chance to complete a bingo card. This year’s prize is a compost bin valued at $150.
“There will be a booth for bike helmet fitting, and kids can register for a helmet drawing,” Heisick said.
Indoor tours of the chapel and the sisters’ art are available, as well as outdoor tours of the grounds via horse. People can take a peaceful ride through the community gardens, the peace garden, the hermitages, past the barn and the Clothes Review.
“It’s a good feeling of community,” said St. Francis Music Center director Robyn Gray. “It’s fun — like a block party.”
“Everybody works together to make it happen,” Heisick said. “It’s a lot of work, but it brings up morale here.”
What began as a concert for peace has grown into a fair.
“Music is a universal language; it crosses all borders,” Gray said.
Gray and Heisick describe an environment nurtured by the sisters where people are free to dream and things can happen.
“We can have a dream and there’s always support for it,” Gray said. “We can think outside the box.”
“The convent started with 16 sisters and now look how it’s grown,” said Heisick.