Downtown Edmond Arts Festival
Traditionally, the first weekend of May brings vibrant pops of color and the tunes of live musicians to the streets of Downtown Edmond for the annual Arts Festival. After pandemic-required cancellations and postponements, the much-anticipated community event is set for September 10-12, 2021.
“We attract top talent from across the nation,” said Michelle Schaefer, a downtown business owner and newly-appointed chair for the event. Bryanne Wallace, past chair, played a key role in the Arts Festival from 1999 until her last festival in 2019. Bryanne passed away in April 2021. Michelle says “Bryanne made the artists feel at home and valued. That was probably her biggest legacy. We want to honor her memory by making this festival even better.”
Honoring Tradition, Embracing Innovation
Familiar artists will showcase their craft; classic food and drink vendors will be present. Visitors can expect some upgrades to the event including hands-on activities, new art exhibitors, notable performers and a new festival set up. “We revised the artists’ booth layouts to break up the flow of visitors and provide more social distancing,” said Nancy Meoli, co-chair and owner of Othello’s. “The changes will also provide more visibility to the businesses along Broadway and create a more leisurely browsing experience with the artists.”
The Downtown Edmond Arts Festival was created by the Downtown Edmond Business Association (DEBA). DEBA, formed in the 1960s, is composed of business owners committed to ensuring their district continues to grow and thrive. Downtown has experienced exponential growth over the past two years, and this festival will be the first for dozens of new business owners in Downtown. By design, traveling artists and existing storefronts and restaurants will create a destination weekend for locals and tourists alike.
Gathering in the Name of Art
Local musicians, Black Water Bridge will provide music on Friday night and Kyle Dillingham will perform on Saturday night, both under the Festival Marketplace pavilion. Musical venues will be placed throughout the festival with performers like Edgar Cruz and Olivia Kay.
Highlighting the art of play, the Greater OKC Pickleball Club will offer live demonstrations. Children and the young at heart will find yard games, giant checkers and chess, a foam pit and superheroes and princesses will make special appearances. Several businesses throughout downtown will offer free “make and take” activities for children.
Around 140 artists from all over the country are expected to display and sell their work in oil, acrylic, watercolor, jewelry, pottery and photography along Broadway. A special section for artisan crafters, featuring leather, wood, resin, glass, metal and fabric will be located on First Street.
For more information about the Arts Festival, visit www.downtownedmondok.com or visit the facebook page.