Annual Blanden Arts Festival kicks off with 4K run/walk Saturday

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Wearing an old shirt to cover up her own nice clothes, Tristen Holst, 9, of Fort Dodge, works on a painting Saturday morning during the Blanden Memorial Art Museum Summer Arts Festival. Holst was one of the receipients of an art scholarship at the event.

This June the Blanden will be celebrating its 85th anniversary and the art featured this year includes painting, ceramics, metal works, photography, live music, etc., and to mark this amazing accomplishment, the museum will be co-hosting an “Art & Sole” 4K run/walk with the Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation Department.

“The Blanden Arts Festival is a way to show all the vibrant arts in the community, and not only Fort Dodge but the surrounding areas,” Hope Thier, art educator and assistant director said. “We do this to showcase and inspire other artists and everyone around.”

Blanden and the FD Parks and Recreation will kick off the 85th celebration with the 4K walk/run. “Art & Sole” will take participants by some of the public art located in the Fort Dodge area, as well as display the popular trail system. The run/walk begins and ends at the Blanden Arts Museum. Registration will be at 7:00 a.m. and the race will follow at 8:00 a.m. Prizes will also be awarded to those who participate in the race.

The kids tent will feature activities such as wheel throwing, air-dry clay sculptures with beads, “Make Your Own Smile,” Eulenspiegel Puppet Workshop: “Make and Take,” Paint by Numbers Project, and Spin Art.

Guests will have two chances to attend Eulenstiegel’s Puppet Workshop. The first will be from 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and then again from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Along with their workshop, they will also have performances for everyone to enjoy throughout the day.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Caleb Caston, 12, of Fort Dodge, sings Saturday morning during the Blanden Memorial Art Museum Summer Arts Festival along with Sherry Washington, of Fort Dodge. The pair are members of the Fort Dodge Community Choir Gospel Group which were among several musical groups that shared their art.

“Food can also be found throughout the festival which will be provided by Sneakers and Dominos,” Thier said.

For live entertainment, Trinity United Methodist Choir will be performing at 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Then at 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., guest can enjoy a performance from the East N Boys. The entertainment will continue at 4:15 p.m. with Fort Dodge natives, Short n’ Scruffy. Also throughout the day, don’t miss out on a chance to see Magician Michael Mericle who will have showings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thier said, “We at Blanden celebrate imagination, innovation, and inspiration with each and every artist.”

The Blanden Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Blanden Art Museum, 920 3rd Ave. South. This is a free event for families and the Greater Fort Dodge Community.

To pre-register visit

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Josie Laufersweiler, 2, of Fort Dodge, concentrates on her brush strokes Saturday morning during the Blanden Memorial Art Museum Summer Arts Festival. Painting was one of several activities for budding young artists to try out.

Pre-registration cost $15 and will include a t-shirt. Registration on the day of the race will be $25. For more information call Erin Habben at 515-573-3429.


If you go: Annual Blanden Arts Festival

Where: Blanden Memorial Art Museum, 920 3rd Ave. S

When: June 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free, open to the public