The Springfield Regional Arts Council will be holding its annual celebration Artsfest on Walnut Street on May 7 and 8. 

Leslie Forrester, executive director, calls Artsfest a weekend-long celebration of arts and culture. 

“This year, we’ll have about 90 artists demonstrating or selling their artwork, and we’ll have about 18 food and beverage vendors,” Forrester said. 

As well as artists and food vendors, Forrester said there will be a place for families and children to make items to take home. There will be live entertainment on four stages, Forrester said, with about 50 artists over both days. Forrester said there will be something for everyone there. 

There will be several types of artists at Artsfest, Forrester said. Among the artists are potters, jewelers, painters and woodworkers. Some of the artists are new, but there will be returning faces as well. 

According to Forrester, Artsfest has only been canceled once, due to COVID-19. She said because of the pandemic, some artists went into retirement and will not be returning. 

With COVID-19 still lingering, Forrester said there are not as many precautions as there were last year, but there will still be some safety features, including hand sanitizer readily available for festival participants and spacing between tents and booths. 

Sarah Abele, director of marketing and development, said the pandemic caused the event to go virtual for a while, but they are expecting things to look up with this year’s event. 

“We had great numbers last year and great support from the community, despite the protocols,” Abele said. “This year will feel more like normal.” 

Abele also said they’ve had lots of support with volunteer efforts as well. As of right now, all of the volunteer slots are full, but both Abele and Forrester said there are still opportunities to help out. 

Abele said they will need help with setting up the event on Friday evening and cleaning up after the event on Sunday. Those interested in helping can email her at sarah@springfieldarts.org

Both Abele and Forrester said they are glad the event will be returning for its 41st year. 

“We are all so excited for this event, and we’re grateful to see some of the new and returning faces,” Abele said. 

Forrester said tickets for the event can be purchased online or on-site. Tickets are $5 and children ages five and under are free. Online tickets can be found at springfieldarts.org under Artsfest. Provided on their website is a map of the event and parking information as well.

Follow Makayla Malachowski on Twitter, @MMal2024.

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