Behind the Scenes

Staff Report

The 44th Annual Delaware Arts Festival is May 20 & 21st!

As you walk thru the white tents of this year’s Arts Festival, brimming over with watercolors, oil paintings, photography, one of a kind jewelry, glass, sculpture, woodcraft and ceramics, do you ever wonder what it takes to make these two days special and successful?

It all begins 6 months before the Festival when the Committee meets to decide their strategy and divide all the 20-plus categories among the volunteers.

Once we get our assignments, the very first thing done is the exhibitor application mailing — this is when we get rolling! By the application deadline, the applications are juried and limited to 15 percent per category of the total number of exhibitors. This keeps the show varied and interesting.

Letters of acceptance go out, booths are assigned – the Festival is taking shape!

The Grants, Sponsors and Scholarship Committees are hard at work making calls and sending application information to all the educational venues in Delaware County. Our Scholarship applicants bring 10 pieces of their art to the scholarship interview – the scholarships are very generous, this year totaling $20,000!

Grants are also provided to all school art departments, the library, Andrews House and many other well deserved agencies.

So, The Festival is not only a good time, but a serious philanthropic group!

The Food Truck Committee is contacting, tasting and looking for a wide variety of foods, always trying not to compete with the many great restaurants in Delaware! The Food Truck set up is a big job, making sure electric can be accessed easily and that the area is easy to walk through. Tables and chairs are planned for the lunch and rest area.

Entertainment with a family friendly theme is researched, booked, scheduled. This year, the Entertainment will be at “The Plaza”, at the corner of Sandusky & W William Streets next to Amato’s. Chairs will be set up and you can bring your food right in, eat and enjoy!

Opening day begins at 4:30 a.m. when the booths are measured out, chalked and numbered.

Portajohns are delivered and set up, electric cables are ready for the food trucks just as they begin to pull in. At 6 a.m., the exhibitors start arriving, they have 1 hour to drive their displays to their booths, unload, set up and drive out before the streets are closed to traffic and closed with barriers. Our Hospitality Room at Andrews House gets ready to provide food, refreshments and clean bathrooms for the exhibitors – and we have volunteers available to booth sit for exhibitors needing a short break.

Then the Festival Begins, and the work keeps going on and on. Trash bags are constantly emptied and replaced, streets are constantly picked up. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the Festival closes and the final trash bags are put out, booths are closed, streets are secured and swept clean by Boy Scout Groups and are patrolled by a private security company.

Whew! Day 1 was a success. Tomorrow, we start all over again.

Save this date: May 20 & 21st for the 44th Delaware Arts Festival!

Staff Report