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Spring Lake Park Reserve Music Festival returns

The second annual Spring Lake Park Reserve Music Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Schaar's Bluff Trailhead, Spring Lake Park Reserve.

The free night of music has undergone a few changes in its second year, but still includes the community bands that brought the crowds last year.

"We are still in the tween years in we didn't want to do a whole lot of changes," said John Loch, program chair for the Rosemount Area Arts Council. "We just wanted to tweak a few things from last year until we get the pattern down, so next year and the years following we have a solid base to expand upon. If it works for three bands, it's going to work for 10 bands, you just expand it out."

The location and the presence of the Hastings Community Band as well as the Rosemount Community Band are the same this year. The festival will be put on by the Hastings Prescott Arts Council and Rosemount Area Arts Council and it will once again be in conjunction with the Dakota County Parks system. This year, however, the arts council received funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, which helps with the cost of putting on the concert.

"Because it's a free concert, both of the arts councils last year contributed funds out of their own budget to fund the concert," said Jean Schwartz. "This year, we are not going to have to spend as much money from the arts council in order to fund this ... (it) gives us more breathing room financially."

The concert is in August this year instead of September in order to accommodate the community band's busy schedules. This makes for a few necessary changes, like use of a shelter.

"One thing that was noticed that the band directors wanted was some kind of canopy or roof to protect the sound better," Loch said. "This year, anyway, having a canopy wasn't in our budget, so we decided to put it in the picnic shelter that's got a cover, and it's pretty cool there. Last year, it was later in the fall and you had a beautiful view of the colors. This year, being earlier, you won't have the color change and the sun is a lot hotter, so putting it by the picnic area and picnic tables, they're all under oak trees, so there will be plenty of shade for everyone."

In addition to the date change, a bluegrass band, Shotgun Johnson and the Mississippi Seven, will join the two community bands in this festival, which Loch says is appropriate since the festival is on the Mississippi River.

"We had talked about that this (festival) would be really all community bands playing in the future, but we decided people would get tired of hearing the same music all day long," Loch said. "We are breaking up the community bands with the bluegrass band."

Last year, the event brought in at least 400 people, and the councils are expecting the same amount of people this year. Gourmet Solutions, a Rosemount based food truck, will also be at this free festival.

Spring Lake Park is located at 8395 127 Street East in Hastings.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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