Monday Informer: Legion Post to sponsor mini festival

·3 min read

Aug. 1—North Mankato's American Legion Post 518 is planning a family-friendly music festival noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 256 Belgrade Ave.

The post's inaugural Mini VetsFest is open to the public. An outdoor event, the festival is being offered as a place where military veterans may relax, bond and enjoy music, said festival organizer Mike Forliti.

Free-will donations will be accepted.

Twin Cities-based blues/country musician Pat McLaughlin will perform. Activities for children include balloon art and face painting.

North Mankato's festival is based on a larger veterans-related event McLaughlin sponsored in Oakdale.

Back-to-school fair slated

Shoes, backpacks, clothing vouchers, haircuts and food will be offered to attendees at The Salvation Army's second annual Back to School Community Fair 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 in the parking lot outside the SA's Youth Center at 700 S. Riverfront Drive.

Representatives with The Salvation Army Church will be on hand during the in-person event to offer spiritual care.

Applications for the services must be completed during the event. Families must bring along state-issued photo IDs, proof of government assistance (WIC, Food Stamps, Minnesota Care, SSDI, or SSI, proof of address and proof of school registration for children enrolled in K-12 grades).

Partners in the event for young families in Blue Earth County and North Mankato include Blue Earth County Library, Minnesota Valley Action Council, The Pelican Food Truck, True Essentials Company, Northside Hair Company and Crisis Nursery.

The Salvation Army's Mankato location is accepting financial contributions for the event. Donors may mail checks for The Salvation Army to 700 S. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, MN 56001. Checks that are contributions to the community fair should specify "Back to School" in the memo section.

RibFest opens Thursday

The 24th annual RibFest opens Thursday in Mankato's Riverfront Park.

Entertainers slated to play onstage at Vetter Stone Amphitheater during the three-day festival are Craig Morgan with Little Texas and the Jensen Sisters Thursday evening; Warrant, Lita Ford and FireHouse Friday evening; Gin Blossoms with Gear Daddies, The Belfast Cowboys and American Scarecrows on Saturday; and City Mouse, Mary Jane Alm and Erik Koskinen on Sunday.

Vendors include five ribbers' booths and various food trucks.

Continuous shuttle bus service will be provided from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. To access the shuttle bus, go to the curb cutout on Riverfront Drive near Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza. Parking will be free in the Mankato Place and Civic Center parking ramps throughout the weekend.

In an effort to increase security, to reduce staff touchpoints, and to expedite entry times for guests, a clear-bag policy will be implemented. Medical and diaper bags will be permitted; however they will be subject to search by security staff. Guests may bring their own seating to RibFest; however, chairs should not be in bags.

Professional camera lenses, GoPros, selfie sticks, tablets and drones are prohibited.

General admission is $10 in advance and $15 on the day of a show. A VIP ticket option is available. Youths age 12 and younger will not be charged admission fee.

Tickets may be purchased at Mayo Clinic Event Center Box Office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or bought online at: TicketMaster.com. For more information on the festival or venue policies, go to: vetterstoneamphitheater.com/events-and-tickets/ribfest.