Dancing the longest day away at the Diamond M

Posted: Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The Second Annual Summer Solstice party called the KDLL Art & Music Festival may have conjured up images of rock festivals like Woodstock and Goose Lake, but other than the weather the KDLL event really had no other similarities to the events of the sixties.

The public radio fund and fun raiser is rapidly developing an image of it's own that is a mixture of rock festival, renaissance fair, contra dance, and flea market. As the longest day arrived however, so did the rain clouds and the event drew less than a third as many revelers as last year with approximately a hundred folks enjoying the festivities through the rain and the shine.

But the times they are a changin' noted Mari Auxier, "During one of the brief sunny periods of the festival I noticed a 10-year-old boy curled up on the lawn with his new Harry Potter book in hand. People were dancing all around him and the music was blaring away, but he was totally engrossed reading the book and already on chapter four," said Mari.


KDLL general manager, Allan Auxier and his wife Mari pose at the photo art booth during the Art & Music Festival at the Diamond M Ranch.

The annual solstice festival was the idea of JoAnne Martin of the Diamond M Ranch on K-Beach Rd. according to KDLL General Manager Alan Auxier who said they are already working on ideas for next year's festival and ways of keeping folks dry. The party went from noon until midnight with 11 bands taking turns in providing the music, "Folks were dancing even in the worst downpours," said Auxier. A dozen vendors were on hand with an ample supply of BBQ, hot dogs, ice cream, fur and leather goods, pottery, nautical wreaths, silk scarves, beadwork, jewelry, dream catchers, stamps, glitter, and art supplies. It took over 100 volunteers to help organize, build and produce the event hosted by JoAnne and Carrol Martin. Blair and Ronna Martin served up home grown BBQ goat for the members of the band at the hospitality suite.

The grand prize raffle winner was Rick Langley, winning a new storage shed, Anita Necessary won the certificate to Sweeney's Clothing, Mike Wichman two nights at the Princess Lodge, and Steve Clark a dinner for two at Mykel's. "It was a lot of fun and I really want to thank everyone who came out as well as our sponsors Conoco Phillips Alaska, and the Diamond M Ranch," said Auxier.

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