Solstice Brings People To Old Town
OLD TOWN MANKATO
This marks year number 14 for the annual Solstice Outdoor Music Festival traditionally held at Land of Memories Park.
Another tradition: live music, food trucks, plenty of vendors and activities for the kids.
But because of all the recent rain in Mankato and the surrounding area, organizers had to make a big decision less than 24 hours before the festival was set to begin.
"3:30 on Thursday afternoon we got a call and they said the water is just going to be too high and Land of Memories is going to be closed," explained Solstice Co-Leader Dain Fisher. "So I looked at Adam and we just kind of looked at each other like now what?"
The duo was quick to respond to adversity, moving the event to a neighborhood where they both have a deep connection.
"This is Dain and I's neighborhood so there wasn't any other choice for me on where to move Solstice," said Solstice Co-Leader Adam Steinke.
Old Town is alive and well this weekend. Solstice was forced out of Land of Memories Park and into the Food Truck Hub while Gary Allen played a concert at Riverfront Park, creating foot traffic on a side of town that has been desperately craving it.
"It's excited for people to come and see that there is another part of town that you can come to and feel at home and know you are supporting local businesses, there's a lot of knew and up coming changes, a lot of people that are owning businesses, having fun and trying to get it out to the people and so we are super excited to be a part of that," said owner of Midtown Tavern Angi Drynockproeho.
Because there were so many large events going on in a small area, Midtown Tavern had to make sure they were keeping their head on a swivel.
"Being that there were multiple events going on, we did have to think very fast," explained Drynockproeho. "We were already planning to have staff and people at Solstice so we were prepared for that. But then also preparing for the Gary Allen concert and the added traffic around town which was awesome."
The revitalization of Old Town has been no secret. What once used to be a prominent shopping center for the City of Mankato has been largely forgotten about around the area.
"We're very excited from here on out. Today's going to be a great day," said Drynockproeho. "Hopefully people come down to Solstice, to Riverfront Park just to hang out, to Midtown and to all the shops. We really appreciate everything you do."
A weekend like this can do wonders for small businesses in an old, historic neighborhood.
--KEYC News 12