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Gardenstock returning for sixth year in Dixon

DIXON – The sixth annual Gardenstock Art and Music Festival will return from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 16 to Distinctive Gardens, 2020 Lowell Park Road.

The all-day event features musicians, artists, a tie-dye contest, a raffle and 50/50 drawing.

The festival is “picnic style,” which allows for attendees to bring coolers, blankets, lawn chairs and small, close-to-the-ground tables. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., food and drink will be available from Mama Cimino’s, Baker Street Cafe, Kokomo’s, Art Cookies, and Air Play Sports and Espresso.

The music

The headliner, Gerry Joe Weise, and his band will show off a unique brand of blues from 9:30 to 11 p.m. The guitarist and singer-songwriter was born in Australia, and has played with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, among others.

Weise played at the festival in 2012 and scheduled a Midwest tour based around his performance at Gardenstock this year.

This year, Weise will bring special guest Juma Sultan, the percussionist who played with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, to the festival. Local musicians Jay Pauley (keyboards), Bill Encke (bass), and Joe Pasteris (drums) will join Weise for this performance.

The rest of the lineup:

– 11 a.m.-noon: Chuck Gall

– 12:15-1:15 p.m.: Greg Andreas and Friends

– 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Small Town Hymnal

– 2:45-3:45 p.m.: Wandering Pint

– 4-5 p.m.: The Climate Changers

– 5:15-6:15 p.m.: The Hershey Squirts

– 6:30-7:45 p.m.: Route 88

– 8-9:15 p.m.: Acoustic Knuckle Ride

Art festival

Gardenstock also features an art festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring 40 regional artists. 

There will be painters, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists, jewelers, mixed media artists, and more.

What’s new this year?

The festival has continued to grow through its 6 years, with 2,200 people attending in 2013. To accommodate growth, Gardenstock will offer online sales of entrance wristband and tent reservations. Twenty tents will be available to reserve. Guests will no longer be allowed to bring large tents and tables onto festival grounds.

Tent reservations and wristbands will go on sale at 7 p.m. June 30 at Guests who preorder will avoid waiting in line at the gates the day of the festival.

Admission has expanded to include two gates – a south gate located by the Distinctive Gardens shop, and an east gate at the entrance to the art festival. Admission to the festival is a minimum $5 donation for those 13 years and older, and $1 for children 12 and under. Gates will open at 10 a.m.

Parking also has expanded to include a second offsite location on the corner of Lowell Park and Timber Creek roads, serviced by a shuttle throughout the day.

The event benefits Sinnissippi Center’s Youth Garden Program, which provides hands-on gardening experiences for at-risk youth involved with Sinnissippi. The produce from a vegetable garden is donated to the Dixon Food Pantry.

Go to or for more information.

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