Aberdeen Area Arts Council
Annual Events
Arts In the Park


For over thirty years, exhibitors have lined the pavement within Melgaard Park with their handcrafted wares on the third full weekend in June. Each year, this juried event attracts exhibitors from over 12 states. It is estimated that over 20,000 people go through the park during the two-day event. Arts in the Park features fine and folk art, entertainment and a wide variety of food items.

When the Aberdeen Arts Festival started in 1976, attendees were encouraged to “spend a happy day in the park”. Attendance at the first festival was estimated between 3,000 and 4,000. Pat Meachem Fries designed the original logo. Betsy Rice, the late Belva Duncan and the late Beth Wray were the first general chairwomen. Advertising in those early years included young boys walking up and down Main Street wearing sandwich boards and half-gallon milk cartons with the logo printed on its side-panels. By the second year, almost 80 exhibitors were registered to be a part of the Aberdeen Arts Festival.

Throughout the years, the general public referred to the event as “Arts in the Park” even though the formal name was the “Aberdeen Arts Festival.” In 1998, the planning committee made up of volunteers that organized the event each year, started the process of turning the event over to the Aberdeen Area Arts Council. In 1999, the Aberdeen Area Arts Council voted to change the name to “Arts in the Park” and also introduced a new logo.



Winterfest has been held annually on the weekend before Thanksgiving since 1978 . Winterfest is consists of food, entertainment, a fine arts gallery and nearly 50 artisan booths. The Winterfest Committee is committed to presenting a high quality juried show with balance and variety between the various art forms as well as between fine and folk arts. It is the perfect opportunity to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Winterfest is held in the Civic Arena in Historic Downtown Aberdeen and is co-sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Arts Council and the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.

Storybook Land Festival


Located on the edge of Aberdeen is Wylie Park which is situated on 210 acres featuring attractions for the entire family. Within Wylie Park, is the ever popular Storybook Land. Storybook Land is an enchanted land of make-believe and fun. People of all ages experience a world of imagination capturing all the myth and magic of your favorite nursery rhymes, complete with its own medieval castle surrounded by a moat and guarded by knights in armor. Storybook Land provides a natural backdrop for literacy, music, storytelling and enlivening the imagination of youth and adults alike. This is exactly what inspires and serves as a guide for the creators of the Storybook Land Festival each year as they are planning the annual event.

Storybook Land Festival started in 2006 as part of the 125th Celebration of Aberdeen. It has grown in attendance each year. Nationally recognized children’s authors are featured as well as regional and local authors. Add in some music entertainment, jugglers, balloon twisting, hands on arts and crafts activities and you have a perfect day at Storybook Land!

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