Brookings Summer Arts Festival

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photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop

If you’ve never been to the Brookings Summer Arts Festival, I highly suggest you make a trip there next year. If you are a regular attendee, I suspect we share the same feeling of fieriness when that weekend in July comes around!

Last weekend, a friend and I traveled up I-29 to Brookings, SD for an afternoon of soaking up the sun and the festivities of local music, some of the region’s best artists and craftsmen, food and even antiques. This festival has been going strong for over four decades and currently had over 200 vendors.

One of our missions for the day was to find products and art that portrayed our furry friends. Pets are a huge part of our lives so why not decorate our homes and gardens with art that represents them!

Of course, no surprise here, our first stop was at a booth who was selling dog bandanas: Cheryl’s Favorite Things. Although pets were not allowed at the festival, I still had Nellie on my mind! So after rummaging through the samples, I finally found one that I thought would look good on Nellie. (She LOVES bandanas! – I do not know why).


Hands down, my favorite booth at the whole festival (besides the homemade Root Beer) was Bill’s Bot Shop. I spotted this little guy named Sweet Boy.


“Bill creates robot sculptures from a variety of materials acquired from thrift and antique shops, yard sales, recycle shops, flea markets and hardware stores. The results are unique and one-of-a-kind robot sculptures.” {says their website}.

After talking a moment with Bill, they directed me to their website where I then found these two robots (and the one at the beginning of the story). Are these not the most amazing pieces of art you’ve ever seen?!


photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop


photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop

I also noticed while perusing their website that Bill studied Fine Arts at the University of South Daktoa – I knew I like that guy! I am a USD alum myself. Spending 4 years in the art department at USD was some of the best times of my life. Go ‘Yotes!

Next, we found some metal art by Wildlife Imagery. They are based out of Mankato and have several wildlife, hunting, fishing, dogs and other designs. We thought these were cool because they are water jet cut!



Deb Leilani Photography had a booth with some of her products. We just love seeing photos of Calvin!

Whittles and Bits was another favorite of ours. These would be perfect for your home or garden!



I thought this was super cool, too, for your patio or garden.


The last place we stopped at before heading home was at the antiques section. And then I found this… not exactly sure what it is or how it’s supposed to be a toy. But it has some pretty interested graphics and parts!



Until next year!

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