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After 2020 COVID hiatus, ArtsFest returns in April at Mill Creek Park
artfest

ArtsFest began as an annual community celebration in 1982. Unfortunately, like so many events in the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of ArtsFest 2020.

Now, ArtsFest is set to return on Sunday, April 18, but with a different location for the 2021 event only. After long being held at Sweetheart Circle on the campus of Georgia Southern University, the event’s host, the Statesboro Bulloch Parks and Recreation Department, will move the event to Mill Creek Park.

“We felt it best to move to Mill Creek Park this year so that we could spread out a little more and help keep everyone safe,” said Eddie Canon, director of Parks and Recreation. “We value GSU’s partnership and look forward to returning to campus for the 2022 event.”

The event will be held April 18 from 1 to 5 pm at Mill Creek, spread out from around the pond area, down the walking trail and across the soccer fields.

“We will have Art Stops, the Artist Market, the Community Stage, and a few food trucks,” said Kimberly Sharpe, events coordinator with Parks and Recreation. “We do have limits on the number of vendors we can safely accommodate.”

Canon said there will be several safety restrictions in place, so everyone feels safe. 

“We will encourage masks, space out the tables for the vendors and art stops, ask guests to social distance, and we will have several hand sanitizing stations throughout the event,” he said.

“We believe people need these type of events after such a hard year,” Canon said. “We love that we are able to provide fun, safe events for the entire family.”

031821_ARTSFEST_file_01.jpg
In this file photo, Keith Beasley gets approval on a painting by Statesboro artist Guillermo Navarro from son Kotlen, 4, while shopping the Artist Market during the 2019 ArtsFest at Sweetheart Circle. ArtsFest is set to return on Sunday, April 18, but with a different location for the 2021 event only. After long being held at Sweetheart Circle on the campus of Georgia Southern University, the event’s host, the Statesboro Bulloch Parks and Recreation Department, will move the event to Mill Creek Park. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Sharpe said the event is relying on the support of the community to ensure the 2021 ArtsFest is a fun and safe event for everyone. 

 “We are able to host these events with the help of many sponsors,” Sharpe said. “ArtFest in the Park is proudly sponsored in 2021 by Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon CPAs, Coca-Cola, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro, the Rotary Club of Statesboro and East Georgia Regional Medical Center.” 

Many other community partners help with the event, she said, such as Pladd Dot Music, Averitt Center for the Arts, and Statesboro Golf Carts.

ArtsFest began in 1982 as a community outreach effort for the Georgia Southern University Art Department to engage talented faculty members and students with the youth of the community – and to have fun doing it, while creating an awareness of many types of art. 

In 2016, GSU’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art announced it would no longer host the event. So, the Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation Department with the help of the university and many other community sponsors and organizations, decided to continue the event with Rec Department as host in Sweetheart Circle. There are no admission fees and no parking fees for ArtsFest, and all ages are welcome.

Parks and Recreation is looking for vendors for the Community Stage, the Artist Market, Food Vendors, as well as, organizations that may want to provide an Art Stop. 

If your organization or company is interested, please contact Kimberly Sharpe by email at ksharpe@bullochrec.com or visit www.bullochrec.com/artsfest.


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