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Park Art Fair, blues event slated for June 7-8

New Richmond's Mary Park will soon transform into the festival known as the 46th annual Park Art Fair and Blues and Brews Fest, which is scheduled for June 7-8 at Mary Park.

The celebration, which will play host to dozens of artists, several craft brewers and six musical groups, is organized by the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

The structure of this year's event will remain the same as previous years, said Lisa Woletz, director of the Chamber.

"We're excited about our musical lineup this year," she said. "We've brought in some new acts both locally and nationally."

Most of the arts and craft tents open at 5 p.m. on Friday for a sneak preview of the treasures.

Left Wing Bourbon, a funk, blues and feel good band from the Chippewa Valley, takes the stage at 6 p.m. Friday.

Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, a traditional blues band from Milwaukee, follows the opening act at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the park will open again at 10 a.m. Vendors will offer goods until 4 p.m.; however, music will continue until 11 p.m.

Saturday's music kicks off at 1 p.m. with a return performance by Mojo Lemon, Volume One Magazine's best blues band in the Chippewa Valley.

Bingham and Thorne, a classic acoustic fingerstyle guitar blue band, plays at 4 p.m. through the brews tasting portion of the event.

Tweed Funk, the 2012 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award R&B/Soul Artist of the Year, takes the stage at 6 p.m.

Johnny Rawls, a Mississippi-based blues artist, will finish the night at 8:30 p.m.

All of the musicians were chosen by the Chamber.

"We visit entertainment venues to see which bands might work well with our event and we also work with a talent agent for recommendations," Woletz said.

The Willow River Brew Tasting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

"We have a large variety of craft beers this year and all ticket purchases come with a keepsake tasting glass," Woletz said.

Tickets to the tasting event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets are available at the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, Brady's Brewhouse, Lumberjack Liquors, Bobcat's Bar and Grill, Ready Randy's Sports Bar and Family Fresh Market-New Richmond.

All other weekend events are free.

"We're looking forward to a beautiful weekend," she said. "Rain or shine it'll be a great weekend."

Free taxi rides (in New Richmond) will be offered again this year for those who choose not to drive home from event. Vouchers for the taxi can be collected at the beer concession area.

For more information about the Park Art Fair and Willow River Blues and Brews Fest, visit www.wil