Memorial Day weekend marks the 36th anniversary of what began as a small street market with a few devoted, if ragtag, artists. Today, the Paseo Arts Festival has grown into an attraction boasting more than 80 visual arts booths for fairgoers to peruse.
Painters, sculptors, ceramists, jewelers and fiber artists are all represented in the three-day event. Although many are Oklahoman, some come from as far away as New York and California.
“What I like the most is that we do try to be an organic festival,” said Jo Wise, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association, who added that the event is an opportunity to bring the artistic community together in a vivid, meaningful fashion. “We really do encourage people to come and express their artistic side … to not just be a buyer, but to participate and enjoy it.”
For those planning a family outing, kids can enjoy making their own masterpieces at the three free Children’s Areas.
At the petting zoo, they can mingle with cute critters and learn how to care responsibly for the world they share with their furry friends.
Music fans are likely to find something to suit their tastes at the two live performance stages. Among the 60 acts scheduled to perform are Edgar Cruz, O Fidelis, John Calvin, Miss Brown to You, Dustin Prinz, Ali Harter, Jessica Tate, Parker Millsap and Jumpship Astronaut.
New musicians are invited to bring their own instruments and try their hand at playing for tips along the district’s streets and walkways.
The festival has also found a way to deal with the problem of litter, and not with mere recycling bins. Visitors to the art show can contribute their empty water bottles to a giant sculpture being created onsite.
There is no admission for the event, but visitors may purchase Paseo Arts Festival T-shirts and posters, as well as original artwork, to help support the Paseo Arts Association, which sponsors community art programs throughout the year. “We really try to make it an arts festival for artists and people who appreciate art in all forms,” Wise said.
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