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Arts Park tops in entertainment, outdoor event

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People enjoy the sun as they take in the entertainment during the Downtown Arts Market in June. The Market is expected to return next year. Kathy Steiner / The Sun

The Arts Center’s Hansen Arts Park won the Best Local Entertainment and Best Outdoor Event in the Best of the Jamestown Area Voting.

Placing second in Best Local Entertainment was Jamestown Speedway and third was Kick It Up Karaoke. Placing second in Best Outdoor Event was UJ Block Party and third was Jamestown Speedway.

Mindi Schmitz, executive director of The Arts Center, said the recognition means a great deal.

“We’re extremely proud of the awards,” she said. “We work hard to make sure that we bring top-notch entertainment to the Downtown Arts Market and it looks like the community appreciates that.”

Schmitz said the Market attracts a diverse audience.

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“It’s all walks of life here in Jamestown. You can’t find a more eclectic group of folks on a Thursday night in downtown,” she said. “We get from 150 to 500 people we had at some of the events this summer. And it’s kids and it’s families, and it’s folks that face some challenges. It’s all kinds of people.”

She said that was the goal when planning started for the Arts Park, to make sure it was a gathering place for “anybody and everybody.”

Schmitz said during the Downtown Arts Market, a cultural component is one focus of The Arts Center at each event.

“Those culture-packed events were the ones where we got the most attendance,” she said.

“The Walter Piehl, Jesse Veeder, Shad Piehl night was fantastic,” she said.

Shad Piehl is a cowboy poet, Walter Piehl a well-known cowboy North Dakota artist originally from Marion and Veeder is a musician and writer from the Watford City area.

Other draws were African drummers and a Native American hoop dancer, she said.

She said The Arts Center appreciates the support of the public in the Best of the Jamestown Area voting.

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“A huge thank you for all those who voted and for the community support from members to community members to businesses to service clubs, I mean, everybody has really stepped up and supported the events and we really appreciate it,” she said. “It gives us momentum moving forward into next year.”

The Downtown Arts Market will return in 2020.

Related Topics: THE ARTS CENTER
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