By Gabby Landsverk, Sun Sailor Newspapers
As the weather warms and flowers bloom, it’s the right season for an annual tradition with deep roots in the community.
It’s nearly time for Mainstreet Day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 20, when Hopkins center-most roadway, from Seventh to 12th avenues, will be filled with families, fun and festivities, sponsored by JCI Hopkins.
Although the exact origins and start date of Mainstreet Day is uncertain, the festival is nearing its 30th anniversary of bringing Hopkins together.
The event is free to attend, with a variety of activities as well as live entertainment.
“We have some really cool performances this year,” said Erin Bryan, event co-chair.
Local dance instructors Costa Rica Ballroom will have a feature demonstration, while House of Dance studio will provide a hip-hop exhibition. Faith Community Theatre will also perform selections from Fiddler on the Roof.
Kiddywampus, the toy shop on Mainstreet, will offer outdoor activities such as sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and train rides will be available for children of all ages. A balloon twister and caricature artist will be on hand to provide mementos of the experience.
Visitors can also learn more about the World’s Largest Raspberry project and the upcoming Running with the Bulls event, as well as meet the event’s mascot, Nacho, a gentle and visitor-friendly pet steer.
Food trucks round out the festivities with a selection of summer dining options; new this year will be grilled cheese, among other delectable surprises.
The biggest draw, however, is the more than 130 vendors expected to participate in the event.
“They come from all over Minnesota, and some from Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas,” Bryan said. “I think it’ll be a good mix. There are some new vendors we’re really excited about.”
Fees collected from the vendors make Mainstreet Day one of the largest fundraising events of the year for JCI Hopkins, formerly known as the Hopkins Jaycees.
“All proceeds go right back to the community, whether it’s through scholarships or donations or other events we host,” Bryan said.
The event typically raises between $8,000 and $10,000, with as many as 5,000 people in attendance.
Last year, the weather exceeded expectations with sunshine and perfect summer temperatures. Though early predications call for a chance of rain, Bryan said the festival will go on regardless of weather.
“I’ve been nervous to look at the forecast. Last year we got lucky and it was such a beautiful day,” she said. “We’ll be here rain or shine but I’m hoping it’ll be a great day.”
Showers aside, Mainstreet Day promises the same annual family-friendly fun Hopkins residents have come to expect.
“We’re really excited about it and we hope everyone else is too,” Bryan said. “We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on May 20.”
For more information about Mainstreet Day, visit mainstreetdaysartsandcraftfair.weebly.com.
Contact Gabby Landsverk at [email protected]