The Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival draws thousands of visitors to experience a variety of creative talent. Enjoy the original artwork of 90-plus juried artists on the banks of the St. Croix River in Lakefront Park in Hudson. Watch live entertainment and artistic demos, while sampling a variety of tasty treats 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. With an abundance of creative activities you may just discover your inner artist.

In the band shell

The Barley Jacks with Brian Wicklund sing original vocals and play jaw dropping instrumentals in a spirit of excitement and fun. They are masters of the fiddle, guitar, bass and drum who meld their divergent backgrounds of blues and bluegrass, classical and Celtic, rhythm and blues, and bebop to inspire each other and create something entirely new.

ForAllBrazil features musicians Tony Hauser, Chuck Armstrong and Tim O'Keefe. Few guitarists play the range of music that Hauser covers. Growing up playing flamenco since the age of 13 led him to the intensive study of the classical guitar and its complete range of 500 years and several continents. In his 50th year of guitar performance, he offers Brazilian music as well as classical and original flamenco music. Armstrong is a noted Minnesota jazz musician and leads his own hard-bop jazz quartet in which he doubles on alto sax and flute. He is strongly rooted in the classical approach having studied both classical flute and sax. He excels playing the whole history of Brazilian music from classical to jazz-samba. O'Keefe, percussionist-multi instrumentalist composer, has been a main stay in the Twin Cities World music scene since the '80s.

Also on the Hudson band shell stage is Good Time Willy. Fronted by Mark "Willy" Williams, Good Time Willy is a straight-ahead Chicago-influenced blues band. Willy plays and sings from the soul and attacks each note with meaning. Their down-to-earth, steady beat, and the classic Chicago-style guitar riffs draw dancers to the floor.

Nici Peper's music is best described as acoustic folk. It features soft guitar parts and delicate piano touches that help draw attention to her voice. Her voice is strong, but still feminine, and the messages that it sings are telling and deeply personal. Nici blends originals and unique interpretations of classic covers such as The Rolling Stones, John Prine, Janis Joplin.

On the grounds

Paul Imholte, encourages you to try your hand on a number of instruments from violin to dulcimer. He performs traditional and original music on nearly a dozen string instruments and has performed throughout the United States at festivals, schools and concerts and we welcome him back to Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival.

Celebrating the return of much beloved costume artist Mira Kehoe as a living statue. She dresses for the day in an array of colorful costumes, but don't let her surprise you as she hands out a "wish" for your day. Kehoe believes that creativity is our life force, and as human beings we are called to discover and develop our talents, and use them in service of the greater good.

Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival is brought to you by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau in partnership with The Phipps Center for the Arts. For a complete event schedule and a listing of this year's participating artists, visit or 715-386-8411.

Please, no pets, coolers or bikes allowed into the festival area. A "Doggie Day Care" will be available for furry friends hosted by Angel's Pet World. For more info, contact the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau at 715-386-8411 or