Art In The Park
by Wendy Kyser
Get ready for the most beloved art festival in the Southwest, October 3 and 4!
For 47 years, Art in the Park has been a signature event in Boulder City, raising funds for the non-profit Boulder City Hospital Foundation. Each year, the event draws artists and visitors from near and far. From its humble beginnings at the home of Sara Denton in 1962, Art in the Park has become one of the largest outdoor juried art festivals in the Southwest. Hundreds of fine artists, fine craftspeople and traditional craftspeople will descend upon Boulder City to sell their unique offerings. From 9 am to 5 pm each day, visitors can stroll through Wilbur Square, Bicentennial Park, North Escalante Park, South Escalante Park, and the streets in between. The event is free and open to the public, and although Boulder City’s population is only about 17,000, the event draws over 100,000 visitors each year.
What kind of artwork is available at Art in the Park? Whether you’re looking for a painting, wind chime, wood bench, ceramic sculpture, jewelry, toys, holiday items or gourmet specialty food item, you’ll find it at Art in the Park. Fine art is traditionally located in Wilbur Square, traditional crafts are in South Escalante, and everything in between is located in Bicentennial Park and North Escalante Park. Prices range from $1 to $10,000 or more. It’s a great place to stock up on holiday gifts and décor, while also getting a few presents for yourself.
Hungry for something special? In addition to the amazing artists, fine food vendors from all over the United States travel to Boulder City to participate each year. Visitors will be able to choose from Italian, Thai, Chinese, German, Mexican, Greek, American, barbeque, wraps, roasted corn, berry kebobs, ice cream, slushees, snow cones, kettle corn, funnel cakes, roasted nuts, specialty coffees, fruit, breakfast items and much more. The Foundation also raises funds selling their own soda, water, frozen treats and “adult beverages”, including a variety of beer, wine, frozen margaritas, mimosas and bloody marys. Not only is there a tented food court area, but the event even has a special place for those who need to relax and catch up on the football games. Bring your appetite!
What about entertainment? If you enjoy strolling at Art in the Park or relaxing in the grass, the music put together by Pure Evidence Audio will only add to your enjoyment. Each day, local musicians will take the stage and play for approximately half an hour each. During that time, visitors can enjoy the music, meet the musicians and purchase their CDs. There will also be many art demonstrations, activities, and even a special area for visitors to decorate and send cards to active-duty military members. Celebrity sidewalk chalk artist, Donovan Fitzgerald, will be re-creating classic paintings right on the ground… you won’t want to miss it!
Looking for something special? Art in the Park prints a limited edition t-shirt each year, featuring the artwork of the Featured Artist. This year’s winner was “Heartist”, Debbie Marie Arambula, from Campbell, California. Debbie’s “Peaces of My Heart” is featured on the event poster, program and t-shirt this year. You may purchase the limited edition t-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, aprons and fleece blankets from the souvenir booth at the event. To learn more about this year’s Featured Artist, visit www.debbiemariegallery.com.
Don’t forget about the Fundraising Raffle! Each artist participating in the event donates at least one piece of original artwork to the raffle. Local businesses and sponsors also donate gift certificates and merchandise. Over $25,000 worth of prizes will be won! Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5, and are available September 4 through October 4 at the Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop, Foundation Office and the event. Special ticket sale days will also take place at the Boulder Dam Credit Union and other Boulder City businesses. Winners will be notified by phone and can pick up their prize(s) at the event or Foundation office.
There are several options for parking. Free standard and handicap parking is available throughout Boulder City, the event offers an off-site paid parking lot with paid shuttle service off of Nevada Highway, and finally, the RTC offers a paid park and ride option from Henderson. Maps and directions are available by visiting www.artinthepark.org. Please note that for the safety of all visitors, non-service pets, bicycles, skateboards and scooters are prohibited.
How can you get involved? Just ask our sponsors, including NextLight Renewable Power, Advanced Dental Care of Boulder City, Vegas PBS, Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas Sun and Goodwill of Southern Nevada. We have opportunities for individual volunteers, sponsors, business groups, civic groups, church groups and school groups. Just call (702) 293-0214 for more information.