SIXTEEN ARTISTS AND TWENTY HYDRANTS ARE PARADE READY
Maple Leaf Festival is almost here and the excitement is rising. This year’s distinctive Festival artwork is the creation of artCentral artist, Teri Y. Diggs.
The official Festival website: http://carthagechamber.com/maple-leaf, hosted by our Carthage Chamber of Commerce, tells us that beginning in the late 1960’s as a marching band competition, the annual Maple Leaf Festival took its name from Mother Nature.
Annually, on the third Saturday of October, the biggest day of the festival begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends around noon. Starting on the Carthage Historic Square the parade route finishes at the Carthage Middle School.
Numerous events are scheduled throughout the day to entertain young and young at heart including a marching band festival, arts and crafts vendors, car and tractor shows, wine tasting, a quilt show, food vendors and live entertainment.
The rest of the festival is filled with a variety of activities including art and museum exhibits, lobster boil, bike tour, Latino festival, carnival, circus, evening 5K, beauty pageants, baby and toddler contests, dog show, gospel, sing, cruise-in, bake sale, costume ball and a lip-syncing competition. Celebrating its 51st year in 2017, the Maple Leaf Festival offers family style fun in a home town atmosphere.
Sixteen artCentral artists have worked long, and they’ve worked hard, and they’ve accomplished something amazing in anticipation of this year’s Maple Leaf festival. All the fire hydrants around the square and down the Grant Street-Grand Avenue-Centennial Avenue parade route are newly fashioned and beautifully dressed in colorful celebration chic. Treat yourself. Take a drive and be awed by this marvel—fire hydrants bedecked with brilliant autumn leaves in all manner of yellows and golds and oranges and reds twirling against a blue sky lightly dappled with puffy cumulus clouds. What a lovely wonder!
Tenaciously and generously applying their talents in wind and rain and punishing late summer heat, the dedicated members of artCentral’s plein air hydrant painting party, have logged about three hundred hours brushing marine quality paint onto twenty curbside stanchions that not only keep our city safe but also add special year-round beauty to this sweet town we love.
Inspired by Jason Choate, CW&EP Director of Water Services, and coordinated by Meagan Milliken, CW&EP Customer Relations Manager, the hydrant re-do project has been months in the planning and making. Before the artists began to create their magic, David and I created the design and templates. CW&EP crews sandblasted, power-washed, primed and background painted the hydrants. Artist supplies were purchased and divided into artist kits. Lora Waring, artCentral volunteer extraordinaire, cut out hundreds of leaf and cloud patterns, making up a set for each artist.
Here is the roster of marvelous artCentral artists who’ve made art to lift our hearts in every season at their assigned parade route locations:
Alexandra Burnside at Grand and Macon; Teri Y. Diggs at Grand and 13th; Liz Foster at Clinton and Centennial; Olivia Givens at Grant and 5th; David and Alice Lynn Greenwood-Mathé all around the square, at 11th and Grand and at 1163 Grand; Sydney Hartless at Grant and Chestnut; Tom Jones at 738 Centennial; Tyla and Chris Reed at Grant and 10th; Emily Rose at Grand and Paradise Alley, 1131 Grand and Centennial and Fulton; Sierra Russow at 1700 Grant; Brenda Sageng at Grand and Centennial; Linda Swatsenbarg at Grant and 6th; and Elizabeth and Joel Wallsmith at 1431 Grand.
This Saturday the Maple Leaf parade route will be lined four deep with Carthaginians and their guests cheering the floats and cars and bands and horses and all the other marchers passing by. To get your best view of the hydrants, take an early walking or driving excursion before the big day. Tour the route, admire the beauty and be sure to say “thank you” to every artist who participated in giving this lovely autumnal gift to our fair city.
Though artCentral will be closed Saturday, October 21st, to join in the Maple Leaf parade day celebration, Michael Steddum’s exhibition: “unleashed! DOG SHOW” continues through November 12, 2017, generously underwritten by HOMETOWN BANK. Paintings in oil and watercolor, as well as prints and note cards are available for purchase. Gallery hours: Fridays & Saturdays 12:00-5:00, Sundays 1:00-5:00. All other days call (417) 358-4404 to schedule a visit. Admission is free. Donations are welcome.