One weekend in Owensboro is a bit more colorful than the rest. It’s the time of year when all varieties of artists fill downtown and chalk drawings cover the streets. Mix that with great food and music, and you’ve got the East Bridge Art and Music Festival on September 2-3.
The festival — now in its sixth run — will change from a one-day fest to a two-day event this year, taking over Smothers Park for a weekend of celebrating creativity.
“It’s always been our goal to progress slowly so we do it right,” said festival coordinator Katherine Taylor. “Moving to two days is the next step in our adventure. It gives the town more opportunity to support the arts.”
East Bridge will team up with Friday After 5 on September 2 to kick things off with the Kroger street fair.
Attendees can expect to see booths from many different kinds of media, with as many as 70 artists exhibiting their work.
Woodworking artist Dustin Taylor, of Owensboro, will be bringing his hand-built wooden signs, furniture, and other goods for the first time.
“We’re a fairly new business so we’d love to get our product out there and meet other various peers in the arts,” he said.
He added that art festivals bring people together from different backgrounds and show the incredible talent existing all around. For a preview of his woodworking skills before the festival, check out cerberuswoodco.com or @cerberuswoodco on Instagram.
Jewelry artist Sara Rapee of Evansville will be returning this year with lots of pendants, earrings, and bracelets that shine.
Rapee’s jewelry focuses on showcasing the stone, a style that formed when she and her mother began cutting, grinding and polishing stones at the Evansville Lapidary Society. Every sterling silver piece is started from scratch, with silver wire and sheet placed to show off the stone.
Rapee is excited to return to the festival that she’s been a part of since its launch. “We love Owensboro and we’re impressed with the artistic culture there,” she said. “The organizers have a great knack for putting on a show because they’re an art studio. And we love being at the park. It’s a really wonderful weekend.”
Rapee exhibits at five or six festivals in the summer, and said it’s a great way to support the communities and local business.
“Every time I go to one, I try to find something new and unique,” she said. “Even though I do shows, I try to come home with something new. It just makes you smile and enriches your life.”
To check out Rapee’s work, search Handmade Stone and Silver Jewelry on Facebook.
There’s something for everyone at the festival, including the little ones. Independence Bank will sponsor the kids’ tent again this year, providing a place for young attendees to do free art activities.
And what’s a festival without good eats? The organizers of East Bridge pride themselves in offering something better than run-of-the-mill festival food, and this year will be no different. Katherine Taylor said there’s been a lot of interest from food vendors, and this year’s festival may see the debut of food trucks.
The much-anticipated chalk contest will also return this year, with the competition taking place on Allen Street. Organizations, businesses, and other groups can apply to participate by going to the East Bridge website at eastbridgeart.com.
Besides being a great way to support the arts, the festival is a unique one and just a fun afternoon, Katherine Taylor said.
Whatever brings you out to the festival, you’re sure to have a great time celebrating Owensboro’s art scene, and you may find something you just have to take home.