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Art in the Park brings whirl of color to Afton

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Theresa "Akua" Fenn poses for a photo Saturday at Art in the Park. The Hastings woman routinely travels to Madagascar to prepare the materials needed to make her bags with the help of local women. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 8
Jessie Eckroad's Dr. Suess-inspired chair won top honors Saturday at the Chair-ish auction at Art in the Park. She was among a handful of Afton artists who transformed Adirondack chairs into works of their own. Photo courtesy of Stan Ross3 / 8
Local artists transformed these Adirondack chairs before park-goers cast their votes for the best design. The chairs were also auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Afton Historical Museum. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 8
Thousands flocked to Afton's Old Village for the city's 39th annual Art in the Park Saturday, Sept. 23. The outdoor art fair that attracts artists of multiple mediums who display and sell their work. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 8
Ceramic artist Adama Sow displays his pottery during Afton's Art in the Park fair Saturday. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 8
Minnesota artist Joe Sack displays his sculptures Saturday near Town Square Park in Afton. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 8
Park-goers peruse the work of Theresa "Akua" Fenn of Hastings. She began making colorful straw animals and handbags while living in Madagascar for 18 years. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 8

Art was in the air last weekend in Afton, as visitors gathered for the city's annual Art in the Park Fair.

In its 39th year, the outdoor art fair drew thousands to the Afton's Old Village where several dozen artists displayed their work.

Artists ranged from a variety of mediums, including fine arts, crafts, sculpture, apparel, photography and more.

Local artists also transformed Adirondack chairs into works of art, ranging from Afton landmarks to reimagined classic works of art.

Visitors selected Afton artist Jessie Ekroad's Dr. Seuss-inspired design as their top pick.

Chairs were also put to auction with proceeds benefiting the Afton Historical Museum, along with beer and wine sales.

The auction raised about $2,100, roughly 10 percent of the museum's annual operating expense, said Stan Ross, the Museum's president. Beer and wine sales also brought in several thousand dollars to the museum, he added.

"It's a huge success for the museum," Ross said. "We rely completely on donations and these sort of events to keep the museum doors open."

Art in the Park is part of a two-week-long series of art festivals along the St. Croix River.

More information about these events is available online at