Arts and crafts vendors from around the state and Midwest will line the streets of downtown Hopkins for the return of Mainstreet Day Arts and Craft Festival 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.
The annual event was put on hold last year in light of the pandemic, and organizers and participants alike are excited about its return.
JCI Hopkins, a leadership development and community service organization for young professionals, sponsors the annual event. The net proceeds are used to support community projects throughout the year, such as Cops ’N Kids, Bowling with the Bunny and scholarships for seniors.
“It’s one of our favorite days of the year and we are so happy to welcome the community back,” said Erin Bryan, Mainstreet Day co-chair, along with Lisa Diffley. “We are excited to see many new vendors this year, as well as long-time friends. This is such a unique opportunity to showcase the talents of our neighbors and celebrate the special place that is downtown Hopkins.”
Among the items available for purchase include jewelry and accessories, woodwork, housewares, apparel, photography, artwork, garden décor, health and wellness items, yard games, gifts for children, and much more.
Food booths will be located throughout the fair and there will be entertainment for the family, including a strolling magician, train rides, dance demonstrations and face painting.
Raju Lamichhane of Hopkins and Natalie Fine Shapiro of St. Louis Park are among the local artists at this year’s Mainstreet Day.
This is the first art fair for Shapiro, who recently became a full-time artist after leaving a fulfilling day job behind to pursue her passion in watercolor.
“I love really bright and intense color,” said Shapiro, whose artistic journey has included drawing, jewelry making, henna body art, hand lettering and decorative painting.
She began watercolor in 2018, creating whimsical and botanical patterns inspired by Indian, Mexican, and Israeli art and textiles.
A lot of inspiration has stemmed from her family’s Jewish background and her travels to Israel, painting Israeli motifs and fruit, including pomegranates, which in Judaism, is a symbol of righteousness, knowledge, and wisdom because it is said to have 613 seeds, each representing one of the 613 commandments of the Torah.
In addition to paintings, she will be selling bookmarks and stickers as part of the Big Fun Dream Club with fellow artist Kate Greve, who creates illustrations from marker and pen.
Hopkins artist Raju Lamichhane of Raju’s Arts will be returning for his 10th year at the fair.
A native of rural Nepal, he is a graduate of fine arts and specializes in newspaper collage art.
For years, he was a book illustrator before switching to making art with recycled materials, like newspapers.
He began by making a collage by cutting, gluing and pasting the different pieces of paper and was encouraged to submit his work in the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.
The following year, he entered Mainstreet Day and has continued since then.
This year, Lamichhane will have more art inspired by Minnesota birds and animals.
He is looking forward to showing his newly created artwork and is excited to talk to neighbors and fellow art lovers about his ideas for renewable art, Lamichhane said.
Mainstreet Day is free and open to the public and takes place rain or shine.
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