by Dennis Dalman
More than 40 arts-and-crafts vendors sold their items at the second annual Pine Groove Festival April 25 at Sartell Middle School.
The event also included many live musical performances and skits performed by local actors.
The wide array of craft items filled both the north and south gymnasiums at the school. They included canvas paintings, watercolors, jewelry, wood carvings, baby items, essential oils, crocheted items, photography, lawn art and face painting.
As visitors entered the school, the hallways leading to the gyms were lined with musical exhibits and entertainers such as guitar teacher Kevin Carlson of St. Cloud and two of his students. Other performances throughout the day included the Sartell Municipal Band, Cantabile, the Suzuki Orchestra, a faculty rock band, a bluegrass band, Pine Meadow Soloists, the Sabre Singers, Youth Chorale Soloists and Jah People. The preponderance of music was not surprising since the Pine Groove Festival is an event to raise money for the Sartell Music Association. The SMA is a nonprofit organization to enhance, promote and encourage musical experiences for all students in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.
Actors who appeared in their production costumes included students from the Sartell musical Into the Woods, as well as actors from Something’s Afoot from the Great River Educational Arts Theater and actors from that group’s production of 9 to 5.
On the evening of April 25, the second half of the festival took place with a ballroom dance at the Grands at Mulligans with live music by the Andrew Walesch Big Band.
Funds raised from the events buy much-needed musical equipment and replenish a scholarship fund for musically inclined students.