Picnic and Arts event set for Sept. 7 in Watertown

Several Carver County organizations are teaming up with a pair of local Watertown organizations to bring a unique, community-oriented event to the city on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The Carver County Historical Society and the Arts Consortium of Carver County are sponsoring the Third Annual Carver County Community Picnic, an event that showcases a different Carver County city each year, and this year will highlight Watertown.

The highlight of the event will be a community picnic held at Rick Johnson Park. However, this year’s event, which is being hosted by the Watertown Area Historical Society and the Watertown Area Fine Arts Council, will also feature an art crawl through downtown Watertown, with an estimated 15 to 20 artists being featured both in downtown area parks and in businesses along Lewis Avenue.

“It’s a chance for Watertown to show some of its park facilities, and also highlight some of its businesses,” said Christine Jones, a member of the Watertown Area Historical Society who has played a large role in organizing the event.

The picnic and art crawl will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The picnic portion will be held at the Rick Johnson Park pavilion. Picnic-goers are invited to bring their own picnic lunch, or purchase food from a number of vendors. Grilled brats and hot dogs will be provided by Taylor Meats, Legends on Main will be selling Italian Ice, beverages and chips, and deserts will be available from Desserts by Design.

People may also bring their own blanket, or use tables at the pavilion. Live music will also be provided at the park by the band Motivated by Midnight.

In conjunction with the picnic, the Fine Arts Council will be hosting the art crawl, where local businesses will be sponsoring artists and allowing them to showcase their work inside the business. Signs will indicate which businesses are featuring artists inside. At the southernmost end of the art crawl, another band, the Jazz Hounds, will be playing at Marketplace Foods.

“We decided to put these two events together to try to increase the attendance and really bring the event all the way down Lewis Avenue,” Jones said.

Artists of all types will be displaying their work not just in the businesses, but also in tents at Rick Johnson Park and likely at City Center Park as well. In addition, the Watertown Area Historical Society and the Carver County Historical Society will each host a historic display at Rick Johnson Park. The Carver County Historical Society’s display will be called, “Invisible Hands that Feed Us,” and will feature the history and contributions of migrant workers in the area.

During a recent city council meeting, Watertown Mayor Charlotte Johnson, who is also president of the Watertown Area Historical Society, said she hoped the event would draw visitors from other parts of the county and showcase Watertown’s downtown area.

“Way back when, when we first started talking about the bridge being closed (in 2014), I said we need to have events in the summer of 2013 so people will remember what a fun, lovely downtown we have,” Johnson said. “Next year, we hope we’ll repeat this type of event so it will be a draw for people to come and see our town.”


Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]