The annual ArtsFest event was such a success this past April, the Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation Department decided to hold another ArtsFest in the Park on Saturday at Mill Creek Park.
ArtsFest is normally held in the spring at Sweetheart Circle on the campus of Georgia Southern University, but the 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19. The Parks and Recreation Department then decided to move the 2021 ArtsFest to Mill Creek Park.
“We had such a successful event this past spring at Mill Creek Park, we felt that was something we wanted to continue,” said Eddie Canon, director of Parks and Recreation. “We decided to make ArtsFest in the Park one of our fall events. We value Georgia Southern’s partnership and look forward to returning to campus for the spring 2022 event, currently scheduled for April 23, 2022.”
ArtsFest in the Park is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mill Creek Park — 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 and communication coordinator with Parks and Recreation. “We do have limits on the number of vendors we can safely accommodate.”
Canon said some COVID safety restrictions are in place for the event.
“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 feel that people need these types of events after such a hard year,” Canon said. “We love that we are able to provide fun, safe events for the entire family.”
ArtsFest cannot be staged without the help of the community, Canon said.
“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, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro, and the Rotary Club of Statesboro.”
Many other community partners help with the event 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, Georgia Southern’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 the rec department as host on 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 and the Artist Market, as well as food vendors and organizations that may want to provide an Art Stop. If your organization or company is interested, contact Kimberly Sharpe by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bullochrec.com/artsfest.