Annual street festival expands with new offerings
By Shelley Widhalm
Wildfire Community Art Center’s annual street festival, that kicks off fall while raising funds, will have a few fun additions — art vendors, T-shirts, and a talent show.
Plus, the free Wildfire Community Arts Center annual street festival from 4 to 10 p.m. Sept. 7 will take up a closed-off block on Massachusetts Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets. In past years the festival covered half a block.
“This year we’ll close the whole street,” said Lory Ohs, executive director of Wildfire Community Arts Center, 425 Massachusetts Ave. “There will be more room for more people because our crowds keep growing.”
Ohs said she expects 500 people to attend the 16th annual festival, compared with 350 to 400 last year.
The festival will feature food trucks and vendors near Fifth Street — this year there are five; with treats like beer, barbecue, tacos, kettle popcorn, Italian ice and cupcakes. On the other end of the block near Fourth Street there will be eight to 10 local art vendors selling paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other artwork.
There also will be live music, dancing performances, and a silent auction in Wildfire’s dance studio of art and gift baskets, certificates and other items donated by local businesses. Wildfire’s U-Create Arts Studio will be open for attendees to drop in and access the art supplies and get instruction on various art forms and mediums. Also, attendees can take screen photos with Wildfire’s dragon mural and artist Wendy Bodecker.
The event, which is pet-friendly, will begin with a talent show at 4 p.m. of community members trying out new acts; including a singer, a comedian, a guitar-and-vocal trio, and a ukulele player, plus anyone else who decides to try the stage. At last year’s show Wildfire put out a challenge to learn something new over the next year and present it at the next show.
“There used to be a talent show at Berthoud Day, and we decided this year, since it wasn’t happening, to have a talent show to showcase what people have learned in the arts,” Ohs said. “It’s going to be fun to see people actually expressing themselves in a new way they’ve never done before, and the community is going to be able to get behind new talent. It’s just going to be amazing.”
The rest of the event presents a full schedule, including the silent auction 5-8 p.m. and four performances 5-7 p.m. on a stage set up in front of Wildfire. There will be dance demonstrations from the Hula Dancers, the Berthoud Drum Circle, Tap Roots, a tap dancing group, and Just For Kix, a children’s dance company that holds its classes at Wildfire.
At 7 p.m. The Von Hodads will take the stage to present surf music.
The entire event will serve as a fundraiser for Wildfire to support its programming.
“Since we’re a nonprofit, this is our big fundraiser. This is what we do to raise money to continue to offer good art programs in this community,” Ohs said.
Wildfire also is raising funds through sales of its new T-shirt, which features the center’s logo of a dragon on a black background that will be launched at the festival. The T-shirts will be for sale at the new information booth, as well as details about Wildfire’s new fall programming and classes that haven’t been offered before.
Wildfire will work with 80 volunteers to put on the event and still needs 30 to sign up to help with things like setup and breakdown and running the talent show. To volunteer, call Ohs at 970-532-5497.
“I want to give a big shout-out to the sponsors, volunteers, artists and community businesses that help us make this bigger and better every year,” Ohs said.
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