‘Doorway to the Arts’

Linn Creek Arts Festival slated for July 15

T-R FILE PHOTO The annual Linn Creek Arts Festival will be held Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Fisher Community Center. It will combine art, music, food and activities for kids. Over 60 artisans will sell their wares. The fun will continue on 13th Street from 6-10 p.m., following the festival, for Art After Dark. Both events are free admission.

It’s one of the most popular family events of the year.

The annual Linn Creek Arts Festival, held Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Fisher Community Center, combines art, music, food and children’s activities.

“This will be our largest festival to date, by far,” said Amber Danielson, executive director of the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance, which puts on this event with the help of sponsors. “This year’s theme is ‘Doorway to the Arts,’ which ties into last year’s theme when we had doorways painted around town.”

A record number of artisans (over 60) will be selling their wares throughout the day. These folks hail from all over the country. A special vetting system was used in selecting them.

“All of our artists are juried in. Our panel made sure we were bringing in the highest quality of artists and a wide array of art,” Danielson added.

Ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber, leather, metal, wood, mixed media, photography, paint, ink and more will be offered for sale by these artists.

New this year is the addition of the Emerging Artist Program, which will showcase the artwork of nine area artists at the high school and college levels.

Kids’ activities — which are all free of charge — will include favorites such as painting a donated car, a balloon artist and face painting. New this year will be sand art, spin art, a henna painting artist and a coloring contest.

The Junior Art Lovers’ Gallery returns this year.

“Artists donate small items for this, which kids can then purchase to get their own experience of buying art,” Danielson said. “No item will be priced more than ten dollars. The young buyers will receive a card with the artist’s biography and directions to the artist’s booth.”

Free live entertainment will be going on throughout the festival on two separate stages. Taekwondo demonstrators, dancers and an accordion trio will perform. The featured band, Exit 185, will play from 3-5 p.m.

“We are trying to have a wide array of things going on to have a taste of something for everyone,” Danielson said.

Melissa Sharer of Messy Missy’s will be painting a large canvas — live — depicting the festival.

Food trucks Bahn Me, Macubana and Sweet Treats will be on hand, as well as food vendors Smokin’ G’s, Lioness Club (selling sweet corn and buster bars), and St. Mary Catholic Church serving Mexican cuisine. Four central Iowa breweries will be on the grounds: Exile Brewing, Confluence Brewing, PeaceTree Brewing and Firetrucker Brewing. Buzzed Bee Meadery out of Melbourne will also be present.

Two raffles will be awarded at the end of the festival: a 30×30 inch acrylic print by Daniel Marks from Ames, and a welded steel sculpture of a dragon, by Cedar Rapids artist David Leeper. Raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Fisher Community Center and at Art & Frame on Main, plus at the festival the day of the event.

More than $1,000 in festival dollars will be awarded in drawings announced every half hour during the festivities. You must be present to redeem them.

Free parking will be at the old Econo Foods lot on nearby Anson Street, with the overflow of traffic directed to the next door YMCA-YWCA. Golf carts will be available to shuttle people to the main entrance of the festival.

After the Linn Creek Arts Festival winds down, the fun will continue at Art After Dark, held along 13th Street. From 6-10 p.m., live music will be performed, including by local bands Sing, Write, Die and Monkeyfinger. From 6-8 p.m., folks can play laser tag in the tennis court area. Food trucks and a beer garden will be setup. Nearby shops will be open.

The Linn Creek Arts Festival and Art After Dark are both free admission events.

For addition information, visit Facebook or: www.linncreekartsfestival.org