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ARTFEST KINGSTON...

Judi

by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Judi "Scoop" McWilliams

Art show producer Lory MacDonald had invited us to attend this year's Artfest Kingston. It's funny that many, many years ago I myself participated in an art show at the same park in Kingston. The show I participated in was small, poorly organized and poorly attended. We know Kingston is a beautiful place to visit and we were excited to see what this Artfest Kingston had to offer. The Festival Nomad continues to amaze me with his perseverance (or luck). When we arrived, although early in the day, parking seemed to full around the perimeters. I expected to park far away, but Gary did his typical "positive thinking" and drove right up to the main entrance, made a 3-point turn and parked. What a relief!

What amazed me about this particular art show, after exiting the car, was the Artfest's site. I was immediately in awe at how appropriate the park was for an art show. I have only been to two other events, that I can remember, that resemble the ambiance of Artfest's setting, the Winona Peach Festival and the Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts. The neat rows of tents that filled the tree-lined park produced a riot of colours and images. We wanted to find organizer Lory but were unsure of which path to take. After asking a few folks of how to find her, I decided to do the logical thing and phoned Lory. We discovered that her location was at the other end of the park. Lory, if you ever have the chance to meet her, is the "consummate" art show organizer! She personally knows all of the artisans and artists and vendors who attend her shows and treats them with respect and friendliness! It is no surprise that when we finally met up with her that she immediately asked us if we would like to join her in a walk about of the festival grounds. As we passed each vendor, Lory was greeted enthusiastically as a long lost friend. She made sure that she introduced us to everyone. Not only did they greet her, but Lory made sure that we felt at home. We thought that Lory would make her exist and we would explore on our own, but Lory stayed with us and gave us so much quality time and insight into her festival. It made for an amazing experience. We were truly impressed by the quality and uniqueness of the artisan works. One very unique feature of the event was the Artfest "art wall". The wall ran the length of the main art show with boards side by side about 4 feet by 8 feet. Everyone attending the Artfest had an opportunity to join in the fun, grab a brush and add their "artistic flare" to the boards. They could express their own unique artistic genius on the wall. There were free organized art classes for the kids under a covered tent area out of the hot sun. Lively music played on a stage at one end of the Artfest walkway along with a sampling of quality food booths. At the end of the tour, we reluctantly we left Lory and the Artfest and walked back to our car. It was no surprise that immediately upon pulling out, another "lucky" navigator pulled into our great spot. Their turn for a great day in the park at Artfest Kingston.

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