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Music, arts festival in Carlton Saturday

In addition to a number of talented musicians and visual artists, this Saturday's music festival at Carlton's Oldenburg House will feature a mermaid.

In addition to a number of talented musicians and visual artists, this Saturday's music festival at Carlton's Oldenburg House will feature a mermaid.

Organizer Glenn Swanson was building a mermaid platform in the pool Tuesday afternoon as one of the final preparations for this weekend's Oldenburg Sol Fest 2013.

It promises to be a magical day, Swanson said.

Gates for the festival will open around 12:30, with music for the outdoor, alcohol-free, family music festival starting at 2 p.m. Music lovers can experience a range of musical styles, including classical, folk, blues, rock, rhythm and blues and jazz. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate, with children younger than 12 getting in free.

"We want to expose kids to great art and music, things that express the self and spirit and encourage a sense of wonder and creativity," Swanson said, noting that the festival is being presented by the Oldenburg Art and Cultural Community, an outreach project of the non-profit Lift Kids, Inc.

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Featured musicians (in order of performance) include Superior-based singer/songwriter James Moors, Larry Long, Sheila 'Ray' Charles (daughter of Ray Charles), John Penny, Pippi Ardennia, Glenn Swanson and friends, Ricky Peterson, Jason DeLaire, Marcus Wise, Peter Schimke, Patty Peterson and more. Biographies of artists are online at http://oldenburghouse.com .

The time before the music begins will be filled with family-friendly activities.

"We'll be firing up the grills, the mermaid will be there, there will be activities for the kids and four plein air oil and canvas painters," Swanson said, adding that Duluth's Ed Newman will have an art show on the East Porch, as well as arts activities for kids. "Weather permitting, we'll have croquet as well."

The grand old bed and breakfast is the perfect venue for croquet as well as outdoor music. Also known as the Henry C. Oldenburg home, it was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It is impressive with its gated entrance, line of cedar trees, and a concrete basin pool called the "Morning Glory Pool," named for the morning-glory flowers that were once planted around it. Emil Newquist of Cloquet built the Classic Revival-style house in 1894 using Wrenshall brick. It boasts a wide porch on three sides and the inside still has several original fixtures.

The lawn extends the length of a football field to the Jay Cooke State Park boundary on the east property line -- forming a 'natural amphitheater' -- with enough open space to contain 700-plus chairs.

Swanson has been marketing the event locally and across the state as a great day trip, so he's expecting to draw from near and far.

"We're hopeful this will become an annual event," he said. "We're even talking about making it a weekend-long event in conjunction with Jay Cooke."

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