Mankato’s Arts by the River – Bigger and Better 

By Joe Steck – Mankato Times 

Arts by the River

Teaching how to work the wheel. Hands on and kid friendly. Photo provided.

The fourth annual Arts by the River looks to be bigger and better then ever.  The event will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 21 & 22 at Riverfront Park in Mankato.  The family friendly event is free until 5:00 pm and costs $10.00 for people entering after 5:00 pm. 

“Arts by the river is growing by leaps and bounds,” said program director Hope Thier “We are bringing in more hands on experiences of the kids and adults and will have double the artists this year.” 

Those hands on experiences will include activities by the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and Key City Bike as well as different activities with some local artists.  

“The museum will have a wind tunnel, a quarry dig and some art projects,” said Thier “Key City Bike will teach bike safety, have bike tours and a bike parade where kids can decorate their bikes.” 

Arts by the River is a fine arts festival, but there is something for everyone.  There will be food, art and live music at the two day festival. 

“This is a great event for everyone.  If you are an artist, it is a great place to network with other artists,” Thier said “If you are an avid collector; you can meet the artists and learn how they make their art.  It is a great chance for the collectors to get some one on one time with the artists.”  


Holly Ulm is a returning artist.

Holly Ulm is a returning artist.

 Another new addition to the festival is food trucks.  

“Local businesses were busy so we were fortunate to get some really good vendors out of the cities,” said Thier “We will have Scoops Concessions, Kabomelette, Strudel Haus and Tollefson Family Grill.” 

People will be able to buy high quality art and meet 20 different artists at the main artist tent. 

“There will also be a demonstration tent which will include Minnesota States Mudworks and Works on Paper,” Thier said “People can do the pottery wheel and screen paint.  It will be real interactive.” 

The Vetter Stone Amphitheater will be filled with talented performers throughout both days of the festival.

The Vetter Stone Amphitheater will be filled with talented performers throughout both days of the festival.

There will also be entertainment at the Vetter Stone Amphitheater. 

“We will have music, story time and actors,” said Thier “There will be something for everyone from the Mankato Symphony to Cloud Cult and everything in-between.” 

“We really couldn’t do this event without great sponsorship from our local community,” Thier said “Pub 500, Tandem Bagels, Kwik Trip, Lowes, Mankato Motors, MinnStar Bank and Diamond Vogel all put together items for the artists.” 

The festival will run Saturday from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm and Sunday from Noon – 5:00 pm. 

For a complete list of artists, activities and performances visit the Arts by the River Web page.

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