Art-A-Licious: Adrian event hosts more than 60 artistsWritten by Mary Petrides | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gourmet cooking demonstrations, a living history presentation and a circus workshop are all rolled into the fourth annual Art-A-Licious festival in downtown Adrian, Mich.
“It’s not just a walk-around festival. It’s a real hands-on thing,” said Mary Scott, entertainment director.
The festival will host more than 60 artists displaying their work and about eight food vendors — plus events for kids, teens and adults.
“It’s gotten to be pretty high-visibility in the artistic community,” said Chris Miller, director of Adrian’s Downtown Development Authority.
Art-A-Licious is free, but some workshops require a fee. The festival runs 4-10:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 18. The downtown farmers market will be open Sept. 18 before the festival.
“Adrian’s a quaint little town, and the main street is that kind of 1860s feel,” Scott said. “There’s lots of color, and there’s lots of sound. The sound is great because it carries down that whole main street.”
“Not only is there art; there’s people doing art,” she said.
“People doing art” includes a welder, an ice sculptor and the high school marching band, she said.
After last year’s festival, the festival board found that people wanted more entertainment, more food and more events for kids, said Carol Souchock, library director for the city of Adrian and Art-A-Licious chairmember.
“This year, we made a concentrated effort to respond to those requests,” she said.
The festival physically covers more space than it has in previous years — four streets instead of last year’s one, Souchock said. More space means more artists, more vendors, more stage seating.
Sept. 17 is Fiesta Friday, and several vendors will serve tastes of Mexican food. At 6 p.m., Los Hermanos Villegas will provide music for the Adrian Mexican Folk Dancers on one of the festival’s two stages.
On Saturday, culinary arts students from Lenawee Intermediate School District will give a gourmet meal demonstration — followed by tastes of fine dining.
Part of the festival focuses on arts education, Souchock said. Kids’ workshops include improvisational theater and circus skills.
Croswell Opera House and Adrian Public Library will sponsor an outdoor showing of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” Souchock said the movie was chosen because of its literary value and appeal to children.
Older kids and young adults can attend a poetry slam workshop, followed by a poetry slam performance.
A folk/maritime band from Traverse City, Song of the Lakes, will put on a workshop for the Adrian High School choir. Afterwards, the band and choir will perform together, Souchock said.
“Aunt” Laura Haviland, an Adrian native who was involved in the Underground Railroad and the women’s suffrage movement, will come to life in a living history presentation by the Lenawee Historical Museum, Souchock said.
“She’s somebody that the community is very, very proud of,” Souchock said. “People really rally around ‘Aunt Laura’.”
“I am really, really impressed with the entertainment schedule … and the way that we’re reaching out to all the different communities and interests,” she said.
One of the festival’s signature events is the “Chair”ity silent auction. The library has collected more than 65 chairs decorated by artists and area residents.
“They’ve been made by children. They’ve been made by professional artists. They’ve been made by people who just have an interest,” Souchock said.
The chairs are displayed throughout the county for a silent auction; bidding ends during the festival, when all the chairs are displayed downtown. The money raised goes to the Boys and Girls Club youth art fund and to help cover Art-A-Licious expenses.
Miller said he expects more than 4,000 people to attend the festival.
“It is the most exciting time of the year in downtown Adrian,” Souchock said.
“It’s wonderful to see all ages and kinds of people enjoying themselves and the arts and seeing the downtown bustling and the merchants busy. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to show off the arts and downtown as well,” she said.
Detroit native Kathy Kosins will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Mich. The performance will kick off the Art-A-Licious festival.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Michigan,” she said. “Whenever I come home, I always enjoy my time here.”
She called her show a “people’s concert.” Her repertoire will be posted in Croswell’s lobby, and audience members can write requests on cards and leave them in a basket. During the concert, Kosins will draw cards from the basket and sing what she sees.
“It’s like when you go to a restaurant and the waitress says, ‘How do you want your steak cooked?,’” she said. “It’s the same thing.”
Kosins is a visual artist as well — a modernist and abstractionist, she said. Some of her work will be displayed at the Croswell the evening of her performance.