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Are you ready for the Apple Splash?

The third annual Apple Splash Festival will not only include the annual 5K run, bingo, music and food, but it will also be the first year of the festival's chalk art experience and competition, as well as a car show and a makers market.

"The community foundation created the half marathon a few years ago and when the Somerset Chamber of Commerce ended up picking the same weekend to hold our chalk art experience, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to work together and create an even better event," said Somerset Chamber Director Beckah Whitlock. "The festival is something we've been working on in order to try and bring more people to Somerset. But we know we will have to start small and continue to grow the festival year after year."

The festival will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 (and go until 7 p.m.) at the Somerset Amphitheater with the opening of the chalk art experience, which includes pictures with giant 3D interactive art pieces. Guest artists for the event include Shawn McCann, 10-year old street artist Allison Olstad, Hector Diaz of The Chalk Guys, Terralynn Lake and Tonya Youngberg. To see the guest artists' work, visit somersetchamber.org/chalk-art/asf.

"We are looking to introduce chalk art to our community since it has become a pretty big deal in the Middle West in the last few years," Whitlock said. "The Chamber is looking for more events like this to bring people together and connect them with other people."

In addition to the chalk art experience, the festival will feature a youth challenge; teams of two to four high school or middle school students will make their own chalk art, which will be judged during a chalk walk on Sunday at 4 p.m., with awards to be given out at 5:30 p.m. Teams will have all day Saturday and most of Sunday to create their pieces in the concrete bowl of the main stage area of the amphitheater. Kids and adults alike can also get in on the chalk action in their own corner of the amphitheater. To register or to find out more about the chalk art experience, visit somersetchamber.org/chalk-art/asf.

"We will be supplying the chalk, which is a professional street chalk that can be power washed away after the festival," Whitlock said.

The annual run will start at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, with the half marathon and the 5K, as well as a 1-mile kids run. A pasta feed will be held 5-8 p.m. Saturday with music from 2 Mile Final from 7-11 p.m. Awards will be given out between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m.

The art fair and makers market will open at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The car and boat show will be held 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Bingo will be played 1-4 p.m. Saturday, while the log rolling event will be held 12-4 p.m. Saturday.

The festival will go on rain or shine, Whitlock said, and it is up to the artists to deal with the challenge if it should rain.

"Pea Soup Days is our community's heritage festival, but Apple Splash is a tourism festival that we are hoping will draw people to St. Croix County and Somerset," Whitlock said.

For more information on the festival, visit www.applesplashfestival.com.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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