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Phelps Mill Festival celebrates 30 years

It’s a unique gathering of musicians and artists, featuring one-of-a-kind artwork and crafts, live entertainment, food and kids’ activities, set in the beautiful and historic Phelps Mill County Park.

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Always popular with both locals and tourists, the Phelps Mill Festival is a no-miss summer event in the lakes area.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the festival will take place the weekend of July 12-13. The grounds will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

More than 150 artisan vendors will be on site all weekend to display and sell their wares and give art demonstrations. 

Saturday’s scheduled events for the public will start with an opening ceremony at 11:50 a.m. Festival manager Ken Martin will give introductions, and an Otter Tail County commissioner will provide a welcome message.

At noon, and again at 2:45 p.m., Sean Emery, billed as a “funny guy who juggles stuff,” will entertain audiences with his comedic and stunt juggling, and plenty of crowd interaction.

Songblast, an interactive ‘dueling guitars’ show featuring Pat Balder and Glen Everhart, will perform at 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.

On Sunday, scheduled events will begin with an 11 a.m. community service led by Pastor David Strom of Fergus Falls.

Then, from 12:45-3:45 p.m., 57 Chevy Band will provide a blend of oldies, classic ‘80s, and everything in between. 

Turtle races will be held on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Registration begins a half-hour prior to the races.

A children’s activity area and vendors offering a variety of ethnic and American foods will be available throughout the weekend.

In addition, attendees can vote for their favorite artist at the festival to win a ‘People’s Choice Award.’ Voting begins Saturday morning and ends on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Phelps Mill County Park is located about a half-hour southwest of Perham, at 29035 County Highway 45 in Underwood.

To get there from Perham, take Highway 78 south to Ottertail, then take a right onto County Road 1.  Stay on that for about 14 miles, then turn right onto County Road 45.  Watch for signs. Free shuttle service is available from the parking area to the festival.

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