sunrise festival

The Sunrise Festival is getting a facelift.

The Sunrise Festival of the Arts will be forging ahead in 2021 with a bit of a facelift for its 30th year, and a new date in a hopefully less crowded month.

The new date for the event will be June 12, which Chamber Director Kali Godfrey told the Sidney Herald will work better for several reasons.

“There is a predicted high of 70 degrees in June, which is ideal weather for everyone involved,” she said. “There are fewer competing events around the region, and so, we are pretty excited about that.”

The event is also opening up to all vendors, and will no longer be restricted solely to crafts and homemade items. It will be moving downtown to to east Main Street starting with the first block. The street will be blocked off accordingly.

“We are banking off of drawing more people,” Godfrey said.

There will also be something brand new — a street dance. That will take place on the first block of Main Street and will be restricted to those 21 and up. A band from Minnesota called thistle and Lace is being sponsored by the TBID board.

“They are upbeat,” Godfrey said. “A mix of country and pop.”

These changes are being made to refresh this favorite community event, and give it new life going forward.

“It’s a favorite local event, but some of the interest died down a little bit and we were seeing fewer and fewer vendors,” Godfrey said. “People were definitely still showing up, but not to the extend we’d have liked.”

With 2020 being such a difficult year for fundraising, the Chamber is looking for opportunities to expand its fundraising efforts through the Sunrise Festival as well, to generate much-needed income for the organization.

Despite these changes, one thing will remain constant. It will continue to be heavily focused on arts and crafts. To that end, there will still be a featured artist for the event.

This year, that will be Cole Fink, and all the beautifully rustic items he makes, in particular those beautifully polished cornhole boards.

“We will still be doing a pretty heavy push to get craft vendors,” Godfrey said. “We just wanted to open it up to others as well. And businesses will also be doing things on the sidewalk.”

Godfrey believes the festival June 12 will be “an awesome time.”

“If this event goes great, we will aim to do this every year,” Godfrey added.

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