Treedome shuts down Third Street


Shannon Galliart

Local band Afflatus played at the main stage during “Shut Down Third Street” on Saturday, Sept. 21. “Shut Down Third Street” went up and down Third Street from 12 p.m. – 1 a.m. and involved many local businesses and bands.

McKenna Scherer, Editor-in-Chief

Local production house, Treedome Productions, presented the second annual “Shut Down Third Street” music and arts block party on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The free event began at 12 p.m. with vendor booths and live music playing until 9 p.m., with late-night entertainment serving afterwards until 1 a.m. throughout the downtown area.

“Shut Down Third Street” is a celebration of artists, their work and art enthusiasts throughout Winona and Southeastern Minnesota. The event’s main buzz revolves around the stages set up downtown where musical acts and bands perform throughout the entire event.

The festival literally shut down Winona’s Third Street for the event with roadblocks and signs closing off the street.

Four stages were set up from Market to Center streets with vendors weaving between them and local shops open for business with specials just for the weekend celebration.

“This is our second year coming and it’s been just as fun as last year,” a group of Winona State University students said. “If anything, the booths and art are even better this year and the music is always so good, we couldn’t miss it!”

The event is both a place to be introduced to and appreciate the art scene that Winona offers, and offered a wide range of activities. Family friendly events as well as activities geared towards adults, like the beer tent, or “beer garden,” for those 21 years old and up, created a diverse selection.

Several new features were added to “Shut Down Third Street” this year, including screenings from Minnesota’s documentary film festival, Frozen River Film Festival, live music at Island City Brewing Company and performances from Driftless Dance Festival, Anthem Skatepark.

This year also featured an expanded line-up of musicians and activities with more than 50 artists and vendors, as well as more than 32 live music performances.

Popular performances of the festival included Minneapolis Indie-pop band Yam Haus, a band that many asked Treedome directors to bring out; Indie rock band Bad Bad Hats, who spent last year on tour, The Shackletons who also recently filled the No Name Bar in Winona for the Midwest Music Fest and plenty more.

The new features and complete schedule for the event were displayed through another addition to the event: the “Companion Zine,” a newsprint tabloid full of information on the event, interviews, art and more, all designed in-house by Treedome. An online version was also available to guests.

Winona has a large art community, which helped form Treedome, according to one of its directors, Maggie Panetta.

“Winona is at the center of a weirdly undefinable cultural explosion where creativity and performance are celebrated and really encouraged,” Panetta said. “Treedome was born out of support for local artists.”

Treedome, ran by Maggie Panetta, Nathaniel Nelson and Ben Strand, got its start from the collaboration of a group of friends with various passions for music and art.

From the back of a record shop in 2016 to their current studio in downtown Winona, the team has blossomed into a respected and vital part of the community.

Treedome describes itself as a “one-stop-shop for multimedia production services,” as found on their website, including consultation and help with video production, design, photography, recording and promotions.

After receiving a $5,000 reward in 2016 from the WSU Innovate Challenge, they began to make Treedome a reality. They have since collaborated with multiple groups, creating “Shut Down Third Street.”

Treedome focused on community engagement as well, booking local events and promoting and supporting businesses like Island City Brewing through help with shows and designs.

“We saw firsthand that there was a clear need for a creative support system,” Panetta said. “We love that when we do work with people in Winona, it can actually start to make people think differently.”

Support for “Shut Down Third Street” was plentiful as participating businesses like Island City Brewing, Broken World Records and more hosted events at their locations during both the day and nighttime. Also reaching out to help were Midwest Music Fest, MN Marine Art Museum, Boat House restaurant and dozens more local and regional businesses who helped sponsor the festival.

With two organizers and a small support team to push ideas and events through to the day of the event, Treedome’s studio also keeps running in full swing during that same time. The group relies on connections and experience to prepare for the event, as well as to withstand unexpected obstacles, like the light rain that occurred on-and-off during the event.

“The first year we planned it in three [months] but vowed never to put ourselves through that again,” Nelson said.

While the long-term goal of “Shut Down Third Street” is to completely revitalize the downtown scene by bringing in more business and recognition, goals in closer reach include the addition of booths and performances to Third Street.

Shannon Galliart
Afflatus tuning up and preparing for their performance at “Shut Down Third Street.” Guests mingled around the stage and in local shops as they wait for the band’s performance to start.