After months of work, Sherman’s annual Arts Fest will be celebrating its 35th anniversary Saturday at Lucy Kidd-Key Park on the grounds of the Sherman Municipal Building.
While the festival itself will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., First United Methodist Church will hold its annual pancake breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. and the Sherman Education Foundation’s 5K Run will start at 8 a.m. at Piner Middle School. One of the first events of the morning once the festival officially get underway will be a teddy bear parade at 9 a.m. beginning at the Honey McGee Playhouse.
“There’s always exciting things happening at Arts Fest, but with it being the 35th annual arts fest, it’s pretty exciting,” Sherman Tourism/Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said. “We’ve got tons to do for families and kiddos always. The kids’ alley is bigger and better than ever with tons of activities.”
In addition to the events for children and nearly 100 vendors selling arts, crafts and foods, the festival will include the Sherman Art League’s show in the Municipal Ballroom, a youth art show put on by the Sherman Parks and Recreation Dept. in the lobby of Kidd-Key Auditorium, a car show at the north entrance to the festival at Washington and Rusk streets, a woodcarvers show in the Municipal Ballroom and a host of music and other performances.
McRae said one goal organizers had for the festival this year was to add more diversity to reflect the growth the city of Sherman has seen over the last year.
“We have some neat art history displays and local art exhibits from people who had photographs that just weren’t sure how to share them publicly,” McRae said. “We’ve got Spanish dancers and a variety of music and more of it throughout the day on the stage.”
In addition to some new attractions, the city is also bringing back many old favorites, McRae said. The Parks and Recreation Department will be overseeing the “Chalk the Walk” event on the Elm Street sidewalk on the east side of Lucy Kidd-Key Park and T-shirt painting in Kids’ Alley, as well as performances throughout the day at the gazebo and on the separate Maxwell Stage.
“You’re not going to come and not get to see something,” McRae said. “Everybody really loves that community feel of getting to experience some of the same things throughout all these years.”
Organizers have been working on the festival’s layout and logistics for months, though McRae said work really kicked into gear once the city’s Hot Summer Nights concert series wrapped up at the end of July. Because there are so many groups to put together for the festival, McRae said they had to be spread out, so attendees will be able to get in lots of walking to see everything.
“It’s just really one giant puzzle and you’re coordinating all the pieces because there’s so many different groups that participate in the community in different ways,” McRae said. “(We’ll have) close to 100 vendors, including food and beverage and most of them are artisan vendors, so handmade items you can’t find anywhere else. We’ve gotten a really neat variety too. You can get all these unique items and (there’s) lots of fun to be had.”
Admission and parking is free for the city-sponsored event.