Art Festival returns this weekend

Krystle Wagner • Jun 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Nearly 100 artists are expected to fill the first three blocks of Washington Avenue this weekend for the Grand Haven Art Festival.

The festival will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, in downtown Grand Haven. In addition to seeing the art, the annual Family Art Day with arts and crafts will take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

New this year is the Reimagine Project Community Mural. Local artist Michelle Martin created the outlines of the mural, and the community can help paint it. The project is designed to raise awareness about the Reimagine Project, said Mary Sherman, event director for the Grand Haven Art Festival.

The mural painting will take place on Sunday outside Buffalo Bob’s at the corner of Second Street and Washington.

Past ArtPrize winner Chris LaPorte will also draw caricatures, and he plans to donate his booth fee to the Reimagine Project, Sherman said.

There will be live music throughout the festival at the First Street and Washington intersection. The festival partnered with Courtyard Concerts and have a lineup of “great local music,” said Sherman.

Local food vendors will also participate in the festival.

In previous years, the event has brought in as many as 15,000 people, though attendance is weather dependent. Sherman noted that the Queen’s Cup sailing race and Soccer in the Sand at the Lake Michigan beach are also happening this weekend.

Another new aspect to their year’s festival is the Host the Artist program.

About 10-12 local families volunteered to host artists throughout their stay in town. Sherman said it’s a way to help artists save on costs and find accommodations.

All of the artists who expressed interest in the opportunity were accommodated, Sherman said.

Last year, Sherman visited almost every booth and had a chance to visit artists, and said interacting with the artists is one of the aspects of the event she enjoys the most.

“It’s so neat to see them, the creator of the work you’re looking at, and hear their stories,” she said.

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