Bloomsburg’s upcoming ArtFest to be bigger than ever this year

BLOOMSBURG — Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, The Exchange again presents Columbia County’s biggest one-day outdoor art event of the year.

The 11th annual ArtFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, returning to the much- improved location on the Square in downtown Bloomsburg, surrounding the fountain and up Market Street.

ArtFest is expected to showcase more than 35 regional artists’ original work, which is a 25-percent increase over last year. The event is accompanied by live music, local food and activities for the whole family.

A summertime art party, ArtFest draws attendees from throughout our region, and it draws artists from near and far as well. Exhibitors who will display and sell include painters, photographers, potters, jewelers, sculptors, glass artists, fabric artists, woodworkers, skincare experts, bonsai growers and more.

Booths with fun stuff to do will include The Exchange’s Art Cart, using simple materials — many of them recycled — to help bring out the beauty inside each person. The United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties, Merakey, and Agora Cyber Charter School will also have activities for kids of all ages, including face-painting, and the Fishing Creek Watershed Association will host a container-garden contest.

Local and regional musicians who will perform throughout the day include Raven Creek, Mike Hickey, Steve Gilliland, Totem Pole, the Mighty Susquehannas, and others. In addition, attendees will find great food from local and regional vendors there as well.

In 2017, ArtFest moved from its traditional location on Center Street — Bloomsburg’s unofficial “arts district,” home of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and Artspace Gallery — and the Square proved a much better venue; more open, friendlier and visible. By moving to the end of the August, too, the event attracts many more attendees, among them Bloomsburg University students and their parents, in town on the last move-in weekend before the semester starts.

Once again, this year, ArtFest takes place on the same day as AGAPEpalooza at Town Park, another family-friendly festival, with free shuttle buses and free parking at Bloomsburg High School. Also helping make the day a special one, the Bloomsburg Farmers Market vendors will stay open late in their traditional locations on the south side of the Square.

At 6 p.m., the Exchange Gallery, at 24 East Main Street, will host a reception for its show “Then and Now”, with artwork by artists from throughout the Central Susquehanna region and beyond; at the reception, singer-songwriter Paul Loomis will perform. At the same time, the Artspace Gallery on Center Street will host a reception for its show “I Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.”

For more information, visit ExchangeArts.org or Facebook.com/BloomsburgArtFest or call 570-317-2596.

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