On October 5, 2013, a group of engaged citizens working with local officials began the important process of revitalizing Levee Park, a gem of a public space on the banks of the Mississippi in downtown Winona.
Together they decided on a simple goal: produce a day-long festival event including live music, food, family and recreational activities and call it Live@ the Levee. The dream was to coax Levee Park back into being the town square. To make it a place for the community to gather and celebrate like it once was.
Thanks to the generous support of over twenty sponsors and organizations, this goal has become a success. Now one year later, over five thousand people from all over the region have celebrated, gathered as a community, enjoyed some of the best local food, fished and cruised the Mississippi, shopped for one of a kind art and crafts, as well as danced to and applauded unforgettable music of all styles and for all ages.
Great festivals bring the entire community together with diverse backgrounds and philosophies and an opportunity to spend time with friends while making new friends.
The focus of Live @ the Levee is to engage the community in a springboard festival that accentuates how Levee Park and the historic downtown district of Winona can be a hub of artistic, cultural and family friendly activities.
We believe that through cooperation and participation from all aspects of the community, with strong commitment from businesses and local government officials, Winona can continue to grow as a regional tourism hub and destination for people who want to experience an amazing array of recreational and artistic wonders we possess as a community.
We envision that these types of activities will encourage economic development, beautification and maintenance of our historical buildings, further development of the arts and culture groups, and use careful development of our amazing natural resources.
The intent is to inspire entrepreneurs and existing businesses to make investment in the downtown district. This event will be welcoming to the entire population of Winona and the surrounding area. We hope to offer opportunities for musicians and other artists to perform and show their works and bring together young musicians with seasoned artists and technicians to encourage educational transfer to happen.
So please join us in making this happen!
Highlights from the October Event...
It was a beautiful October day. A huge tent was set up. Preparations were made. Then it started. Musicians sang and they played. Boaters docked and came ashore. People came from all over the region. Our community gathered at the Levee. Artisans shared the beauty of their art and passion. The smell of great food filled the air. Kids tried their favorites at the musical instrument petting zoo.
Aspiring musicians learned about the trade from a roundtable with touring professionals. Kids tried the slack line and did arts and crafts. A real alpaca stood guard at the foot of the huge tent. Some sat at picnic tables out in the sun. Some preferred the energy inside the tent. Great coffee, and excellent beer and wine complimented the festivities. As the day progressed and the bands lifted the energy higher and higher, people started to dance. By the evening the whole place was tapping their feet to the beat, the dance floor was crowded, and the whole Levee was alive. This is true community. This is what Live @ the Levee is all about. We'll see you for our Holiday Edition inside the big heated tent on Saturday December 20th.
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