Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brownsburg-This Weekend!

Look for these new items!

Festival of the Arts comes to Brownsburg (featuring MadrinDesigns) :)

by charlee beasor

BROWNSBURG Along with a name change, the 31st annual Festival of the Arts here this weekend is different in a few ways from previous years.

The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 18 at Arbuckle Acres Park, 200 N. Green St., is offering the name change, as well as a children’s area and a main entertainment stage.

Walt Duncan, executive director of the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce, said they are trying to move away from the craft aspect of the event.

“Festival of the Arts it seems to lend itself more to what we’re trying to do,” he said. “Arts in the Park had the connotation of a crafty show. Crafts as we knew them years ago, homes were decorated differently than they are now. Now it’s Festival of the Arts.”

Duncan said they hoped to get attendance up this year, as it’s been dwindling in past years.

“In the past few years, crafts have been going down, and our income has been going down as well, to the point where it’s not really profitable for us,” he said. “We’re trying to turn it around and make it a new event in the community. It’s something we can do to bring people into our community and go from there.”

Duncan and the chamber have been working with ProCAM, which is a convention and meeting planning group based in Brownsburg.

Rachael Vaught is with the organization and has been helping to rejuvenate the event.

“(The chamber) brought us on board to give it a makeover,” Vaught said. “It’s always been called Arts in the Park, and we’re giving it a new name. With that, we’ve tried to add in new activities they’ve never had before.”

Some of those new activities include the children’s area, which is sponsored by Clarian West Hospital.

“HIP Studios has partnered with them,” Vaught said. “I think it’s the coolest thing here at the event. There are hands-on art activities and it’s totally free. It will be a great area for kids.”

She said they are trying to aim the event in more of a family direction.

“Traditionally, it would be women who would come out and shop and we want to try to get the whole family,” she said. “The other new area is a main entertainment stage. We’ll have Hendricks County musicians performing all day long, there will be plenty of tables and chairs and (it’s under a tent), so families can come in and listen to the music.”

Some of the music acts include solo artists Alisa Turner and Jeffrey James, bands “Higher Ground,” “Called,” “The West Wind Big Band,” and “The Jazz Torino.”

The group has also tried new marketing tactics, including a banner that stretches across U.S. 136.

“It’s something that’s right here in the park, something they’ve always had,” Vaught said. “Because we’re turning it to more of a family event, it’s one more way to show what a great town Brownsburg is and showcase what we have here.”

Admission to the event is $3 per person and proceeds benefit the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce. Children ages 12 and younger will be admitted free.

For more information or to volunteer, visit the website at or call 313-9654.

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