Franciscan sisters unearth Green Fair Folk Festival after a few years off

The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls once again invite the public to the 2023 Green Fair Folk Festival on Wednesday, Aug. 2, from 4-8 p.m., on the west lawn of St. Francis Convent in Little Falls. The festival, which began its roots in 2005, took a few years off during the pandemic and is back in full force, organizers said.

An array of exhibits and earth-friendly products, “green” education, fair trade items and seasonal produce are among the attributes of the festival along with the work of local artisans and live music featuring students and faculty from St. Francis Music Center and performing artist Andy Spofford.

“Our connectedness as God’s Creation and our mandate to the Care of Creation is at the core of Franciscan spirituality,” Elise Carey, event coordinator, said. “The Green Fair Folk Festival became an outward and visible expression of that. Each year, vendors and exhibitors who promote green living and care for our planet and Creation are invited. It is a place where one is inspired to live a life in harmony with Creation and have a lot of fun in the midst of all one is learning.”

The concept evolved from an outdoor Concert for Peace hosted by the St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls in 2005. The following year, they added art activities for youth to the concert event. That same year, two lay staff – Robyn Gray and Jennifer Basch – approached Franciscan Sister Gert Brixius, then serving as executive director of the convent leadership, with the idea of having a Green Fair. In 2007, the St. Francis Music Center, the Campus Green Committee and the Volunteer Department combined forces and started what is known today as the Green Fair Folk Festival.

“It is a community gathering,” said Robyn Gray. “Everyone is welcome and you don’t have to spend money. I love the focus on music and green living.”

This family-friendly event features activities for kids, including free face painting. Sign-up for a tour of Sacred Heart Chapel; ride a horse-drawn wagon through St. Francis campus grounds. Check out the variety of food vendors and enjoy a 25-cent Franciscan peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Anyone interested in volunteering, please contact Therese Boone,; 320-632-0691.


Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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