Tahlequah’s only fine arts festival will return for its sixth year Friday and Saturday, June 13-14, bringing a variety of activities to the Cherokee Capitol Square.
Arts on the Avenue is free to the public and is presented by The City of Firsts collaboration. It will run from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Friday night will also feature Wines on the Avenue from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a cost of $20.
“This event has continuously grown each year, especially since being moved to the Cherokee square,” said Donna Tinnin, Cherokee Nation Tourism supervisor. “The visual artists like having the capitol building as the backdrop and being under the trees.”
Over 40 artists will showcase their art in this juried show. Art mediums that will be for sale include jewelry, paintings, pottery, woodcarvings and sculptures, beadwork, baskets, and photography by Native and non-Native American artists from around the region. Some artists will host live demonstrations of how they create their specific medium.
Live music and dance will be featured on stage. Musicians include Willyecho, Franke Lee, Dennis Tibbets and Friends, Bob Taylor, Mike Allen, Russian Balalaika, Mandolin Orchestra of Northwest Arkansas, Heavens to Betsy, Bob and Stephanie Martin, and more. The River City Players will offer a preview of the summers shows to be performed at the Northeastern State University Playhouse.
This year, a youth tent will allow children and the young at heart to express their artistic skills. Activities will include making cornhusk dolls and baskets; paint-your-own fresco; paper plate masks; making soapstone necklaces with artist Jim Roaix; and a “Kids Community Collage Canvas.”
All ages are invited to participate in a photowalk at 11 a.m. Saturday. This consists of a walk that starts at the gazebo and travels through historic downtown Tahlequah while taking photos. The activity is open to shutterbugs of all skill levels, and they can use any device, even a camera phone.
For those who are over 21, a wine and beer garden, featuring a Bloody Mary bar, will be set up on Delaware Street Friday and Saturday. Pat “Bluesman” Moss will perform Friday night, and the Tim Shady Trio will be there on Saturday afternoon. The Wines on the Avenue wristband will gain wearers free entry into the wine and beer garden both days. Entry without wristband is $5.
Wines on the Avenue is a wine-tasting event that occurs inside local business establishments. A special ticket, which can be purchased at the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and selected retailers, is required for Wines on the Avenue. The $20 price includes a wristband for the wine-tasting, a commemorative wine glass, a coupon book, and a chance to win $250 in Main Street Bucks.
“With Wines on the Avenue and the wine and beer garden, we hope to show that these craft beverages can be appreciated as an artform,” said Drew Haley, Tahlequah Main Street Association director. “And the food trucks are coming back!”
Local Table, The Cheese Guy, Kona Ice, J&L’s N.Y.C. Hot Dogs, Cuisine Machine, In the Raw, and 2 Chefs on Wheels will be parked and ready to serve hungry attendees.
More activities may be added to the schedule before next weekend, so everyone is encouraged to check the event website at www.artsontheave.net.
CHECK IT OUT
For a list of the businesses selling Wines on the Avenue tickets and more information, go to www.DowntownTahlequah.com.