NORTH MANKATO — Cathy Dahl has one task between now and 10 a.m. on Saturday when ArtSplash kicks off:
Making chocolate chip cookies.
“I’m going to be baking like crazy,” said Dahl, who is on a three-member committee that organizes the annual arts and music fair in North Mankato.
After many years of taking plates of her cookies to work, they became popular with friends and co-workers. She receives requests for them frequently.
Her secret, she said, comes straight from the fine print in her Betty Crocker cookbook. She uses a quarter-cup more flour than the recipe calls for to keep her signature biscuits extra soft.
“And,” she said, “you have to pull them out of the oven just before they’re ready. Because, once you pull the cookies out, they continue baking on the pan.”
ArtSplash, of course, is about more than cookies.
The eighth annual, all-volunteer charity event includes more than 40 art booths, live music and activities. Proceeds from the silent art auction -- each exhibiting artist donated one piece -- benefit the North Mankato Taylor Library and the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society.
The Prairie Artists Guild will provide art demonstrations, and a grant from the Traverse des Sioux Library System has paid for children’s art classes.
The musical lineup includes: Depot Creek, “Lonesome” Ron Affolter, the Dave Herring Band, Digital T, Dudeman and Electric Sky.
“We are really excited,” Dahl said. “I sure hope people come.”
She’s worried that a combination of poor weather -- weekend forecasts indicate the likelihood of rain -- and a newly expanded two-day Solstice festival across the river might hurt traffic.
But if art is what people want, then Dahl said ArtSplash is the place to be.
“We’ve got such a huge variety of art this year,” she said, ticking off mediums from hemp jewelry to leatherwork to woodcarving, painting and photography.
“We are so pleased.”