One of the many things that I love about spring and early summer are the festivals and events hosted outdoors. In Oklahoma, late April and May, there are many festivals, marathons, and other events sponsored each weekend. These events are a sign of the season and they each provide culture for our community. This weekend, the annual Downtown Edmond Arts Festival was open to the public. The weekend was beautiful without a cloud in the sky allowing for a full attendance.
Edmond is a suburb of Oklahoma City, founded in 1887, with a downtown area that is small and clean with brick paver sidewalks and local boutiques. The city has placed art and small sculptures on almost every corner and is located close to the historical Route 66 which cuts through central Oklahoma.
There are many reasons that the arts festival is an enjoyable family or date night outing such as the food, the entertainment, and, of course, the art. Entrance and parking are free. The art is primarily local artists displaying and selling their craft, ranging from oil, acrylic and water color paintings, to glass, pottery, photography, jewelry, sculpture and other designer crafts.
The food available includes Italian gelato, Dippin’ Dots ice cream (a favorite of my boys), turkey legs, and the famous funnel cakes (another favorite of my youngest son). Immediately upon arrival, he requested a caramel apple funnel cake. It is a bit of a challenge to carry a funnel cake, and eat the cake while walking among hundreds of people looking at art.
The art is set up in tents or booths along every block of downtown Edmond, approximately four walking blocks, with a row on each side. The City of Edmond blocks off the downtown area for pedestrians only. More than 130 booths were on display this 2018 festival and the crowd appeared larger than the last few years.
Painting by Elaine Lanoue
We like to attend each year to view the local artists work. There are a couple of artists that we have followed over the years that come from other locations. Two of my favorites are husband and wife, Elaine and Guiteau Lanoue. We have collected a few pieces from each of them. Elaine Lanoue uses bright colors and has a contemporary abstract style. Her husband Guiteau Lanoue, a native of Haiti, uses textured paper cotton liners to add dimension to his art. Some of his are abstract and others depict people of culture and musicians. They both have a unique colorful flare, a distinct design, and culture painted into their art work.
Painting by Guiteau Lanoue
A trip to the Edmond Arts Festival is always worth while. It is a myriad of experiences, food, culture and community engagement.