By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Residents of the area can anticipate a summer of the arts in the City of Shinnston. “Artful” events, in fact, begin well in advance of the onset of summer. The first activity of the season will take place on April 30th with the City’s annual “Arts & Crafts Festival” that will offer artisans the opportunity to exhibit their talents.
Although last year’s festival experienced some sleet and drizzle off and on that day, the vendors on hand fared very well. And already, 21 spots have been claimed for this year’s event!
Community Development Director Reuben Perdue said that available spaces are limited and pre-registration is required by April 15th, so he encourages signing up early.
The cost for a 10 foot by 10 foot space is just $15. Participants can register on the city’s website at www.shinnstonwv.com under the ‘documents’ tab or registration forms can be picked up at the City Office Building on Main Street in Shinnston. You can also request a registration via e-mail at [email protected] shinnstonwv.com.
“I want to remind folks who may want to participate that all items sold at our festival MUST be handmade pieces created by the seller,” Perdue stated. “No commercially produced or marketed products are permitted. For example, they may be clothing/accessories, baby items, jewelry, indoor/outdoor decorative items, furniture … but they must be crafted by the seller.”
Chick-fil-A will be the food vendor on hand during the one-day festival; however some local groups may be holding bake sales as fundraisers that day.
The Arts & Crafts Festival will be held in the downtown area from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th. Mark your calendars and plan to stop by and support those artisans who come from far and near to support this annual festival. And feel free to stop and visit local downtown shops at the same time.
Ferguson Memorial Park will host lots of activities at the park’s Performance Center this summer as well. Saturday, May 28th will begin season four of the Theatre in the Park series, which will include six live performances that will feature two musical performances, two comedy shows, and tow Shakespeare shows. Show dates are May 28th, June 11th& 25th, July 9th& 23rd and August 6th. All shows begin at 7 p.m. All of these performances are free to the public!
A new and unique event – at least here in Shinnston – came into being last year when the City hosted its inaugural Shinnston Arts Walk, which featured both artists and musicians set up along the community’s main downtown thoroughfare. It was very successful, drawing lots of community interest and visitors from throughout the surrounding area. Because it stirred so much interest and created extra foot traffic on the streets, it’s coming back again this year on June 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Pike Street. Once again, it will feature both visual art as well as live music. Artists wanting to display and/or sell their work should contact Reuben Perdue at [email protected] call 304-592-5631.
Last, but certainly not least, the Shinnston Community Band will be one of the performers in the ‘Summer in the Arts’ program. Celebrating two decades this year since its inception, the Shinnston Community Band will offers its Independence Day show on July 1st … and … they will offer a second performance during the SHS Alumni Homecoming weekend slated for July 16th.
The arts will be an ongoing focus in Shinnston throughout the summer season this year. Mark these dates on your calendar and plan to support them!