Community Takes Center Stage at the Marine Fall Festival

North Shore Trail bluegrass band performs onstage at the Marine Fall Festival in 2022.

The Marine on St. Croix community is coming together on Saturday, September 16 to celebrate the beauty of autumn and handcrafted art in the St. Croix Valley.

Everyone is welcome at the free Marine Fall Festival hosted by Marine Mills Folk School (MMFS), taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 16. Drop in anytime to enjoy a variety of activities that put community front and center. 

The largest attraction at the Marine Fall Festival is the Artists’ Marketplace & Raffle. Each participant in the Artists’ Marketplace brings a unique point of view and connection to the St. Croix Valley, Marine on St. Croix and Marine Mills Folk School community. 

More than 55 vendors will be on display, offering everything from buffalo fiber and art glass to wood carvings, pottery, and paintings, as well as herbs, maple syrup, candles, and much more. Many participants also will be demonstrating their craft. (To see the current list of participating vendors, visit the Marine Fall Festival event page.)

In addition to the Artists’ Marketplace, the Marine area community is participating in every facet of the festival, from the food for sale to the live music and children’s activities.

As a festival sponsor, the Scandia-Marine Lions Club is selling food and donating the proceeds to MMFS. They also are providing tents for festival activities. Girl Scouts Troop #57357 will be selling beverages, and Marine Village School and the Marine General Store will be selling grab-and-go snacks.

Playing bluegrass music throughout the festival are North Shore Trail, whose members are from nearby Forest Lake, and Bluegrass Jam Session participants, who meet the second Saturday of the month at the folk school. Drummers from MMFS’s West African Drumming class, led by instructor Janice Hutton, will play in the children’s activities area.

Marine Village School, which co-shares the learning space with MMFS, is organizing children’s activities that spotlight the school’s vibrant arts programming.

A fire engine will be onsite and open for curious folks to explore, inside and out, courtesy of the volunteer Marine Fire Department.

Sheep dog–herding demonstrations will be conducted throughout the day by Koru Farms’ Dan Reuter, who will bring a small flock of sheep and several border collies.

Additional activities for all ages will be offered by the Living History Society of Minnesota, whose civilian reenactors will provide opportunities for festival goers to play and interact with toys and games that children used in the 19th century, such as ball in a cup, a bilbo catcher, fabric dolls and others.

Knitting in Public will be led by Marine on St. Croix knitter extraordinaire Liz Towers. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their knitting projects and join the community in knitting together.

Visitors also will learn more about the Marine Civic Club, Stone House Museum, Marine Community Library and Washington County Public Works at their respective booths.

Christ Lutheran Church of Marine will have a booth at the Artists’ Marketplace and has also organized a separate garage sale and church supper during the festival (located at 150 5th Street, Marine on St. Croix, MN).

In addition to participating in the festival, Artists’ Marketplace vendors generously donated items to the Artists’ Marketplace Raffle. Tickets for the raffle may only be purchased at the festival, for $5/ticket or $20/5 tickets, with ticket sales benefitting Marine Mills Folk School.

“Marine Mills Folk School follows a traditional folk school model emphasizing individual strengths combining to create stronger communities,” says Robin Brooksbank, outgoing Executive Director of Marine Mills Folk School. “A free community festival is a perfect way to share our mission, introduce new audiences to the artists we partner with and the classes we offer, and celebrate the vibrancy of the Marine on St. Croix community.”

After the festival ends at 4:00 p.m., attendees are encouraged to visit downtown Marine on St. Croix for more food, beverages and desserts from local establishments such as Änna’s Bistro, the Marine General Store, ’Nita Mae’s Scoop, St. Croix Chocolate Company, St. Croix Coffee Roasters, and the Brookside Bar & Grill, which will host live music. 

American contemporary artist Mary Jo Van Dell’s Marine on St. Croix studio will be open along with a number of nearby artists’ studios as part of ArtReach St. Croix’s Take Me to the River event, for which Marine Mills Folk School is a sponsor.

The Marine Fall Festival is family-friendly, free and open to the public, and takes place on Saturday, September 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the folk school’s grounds at 550 Pine Street, Marine on St. Croix, Minn.

Sponsors include Scandia-Marine Lions Club and Security State Bank of Marine. Find complete event details at