Stephanie Crossen is looking forward to the 45th Lakewood Arts Festival.
Crossen, who has designed the official T-shirt for the event, has participated in the popular street festival since 2012.
“Lakewood is a pretty diverse community,” she said. “Everybody looks forward to it every year. So many people from all around come to it. And we drink lemonade, eat popcorn and look at art.”
Drinking lemonade is one of many activities that will take place at Saturday’s event. It's so popular that Crossen has based the T-shirt on it.
“The T-shirt is a celebration of the festival,” Crossen said, “and it is celebrating one of my favorite things, which is the homemade lemonade they have every year. The shirt is going to show the lemonade.”
The festival, however, is not going to be limited to lemonade and painting. Artwork from ceramics, jewelry, prints, illustrations, fiber wood, leather, metal, glass and, yes, paintings will be on display.
“We curate the show to make sure it's very cross-disciplinary,” artist and jury chair Brian Jasinski said. “We even make sure they are set up so we don't have a painting section or a jewelry section. We curate the show (so) that (as) you walk along from booth to booth, you have a wide variety.”
Along with 165 varied artists, the festival will feature music at two different venues. At the Park Stage, at Cook and Detroit avenues, there will be music from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., including Chris Allen, Maura Rodgers & The Bellows, Tam Tam Magic/Senegalese Drummers and Liz Bullock before ending with Punchdrunk Tagalongs. The Andrews Stage, on Detroit at Andrews Avenue, will have music from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with Luca Mundaca. Sheela & The Others and Bridgetown Junction.
Detroit will be closed from Belle Avenue to Arthur Avenue from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The festival, which was started in 1978, was missed for the first time in 2020, due to COVID-19. It returned last year, but the number of artists was limited to about 100. Additional precautions were in place.
While the festival is back up to normal strength, there will be sanitizing stations spread throughout, Jasinski said.
“We were scaled back last year,” Jasinski said. “We're happy to say the show is at full capacity again.”
A $4,000 scholarship will be awarded by the Lakewood Arts Festival, which is a nonprofit. Lakewood High School graduate Inga Wilhelmy, who will attend the Rhode Island School of Design this fall, is this year's recipient.
“We love to support the children,” Crossen said. “Art isn't a high-paying career and art school is expensive. It's great that the community can give back and support a student.”
“The generous donations we get every year help us give a scholarship to a Lakewood resident who is pursuing a career in the arts,” Jasinski said. “So, we're supporting future artists.”
A selection of seven food trucks will be in front of the library. Six – Parilya Taste of the Philippines, Desperado Quesadilla, Squash the Beef, Pop Culture Cle, Pastimes Café and Woolson Popcorn and Fresh Lemonade – are scholarship sponsors.
And Crossen remembered one other item.
“If you go to the festival, make sure you go to the lemonade stand. It's popping.”
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