Flashback Friday: The 1985 Sidewalk Arts Festival in Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For nearly 60 years, the streets of downtown have been filled with art one day out of the summer for the sidewalk arts festival. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1985 to see what was being showcased.

Animal, vegetable, and mineral. And a few things that defy description are featured at the Art Show.

“This is what you were interested in, right ladies? Hang it like that.”

For retired businessman Louie Gilmore, the Arts Festival is a chance to sell some of the fiberglass butterflies he makes in his spare time.

“These are my hobbies, I just, uh, do this to keep out of mischief I guess. I make these things and make a show, do this one every year, I enjoy meeting people. I was in the selling business for 50 some years and I like to talk to people.”

Artists who pluck, rather than paint, are also featured at the Sidewalk Arts Show.

Young craftsmen hammer away at their wooden creations. The skilled hands of 9-year-old Eric Johnson are building a rifle. Eric reveals his secret on how to construct such a complex instrument.

“Simple! With nails and wood!”

Sounds easy enough. Who needs a canvas to paint on when a face will do?

“Make sure the kid stays still. If not then, it’s all over. I don’t know. It’s…not that hard. It’s just fun.”

Aerobics enthusiasts kicked up their heels trying to get spectators to do the same. But they didn’t get any takers. They probably got enough exercise walking beneath the hot afternoon sun.

This year’s Sidewalk Arts Festivals runs tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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