The City of Sherman hosted its 35th Annual Arts Fest on Saturday welcoming residents and visitors to sample the work of area artists, enjoy dance and musical performances, and a variety of activities.

The festival was held at Lucy Kid-Key Park in Downtown Sherman and the surrounding streets were lined with the booths of more than 100 artists and vendors who sold everything from soaps and ceramics to paintings and poetry. Attendees were also treated to musical and dance performances, as well fair-style foods. Festival organizers estimated between 1,000 and 3,000 people showed up for the celebration.

“We start months in advance,” Sherman Tourism/Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said of the preparation for the Arts Fest. “And since this was the 35th annual Arts Fest, it was a pretty big deal. We wanted to make it feel special with some exciting new additions, but also keep folks happy with the things that they love and draw the community together.”

McRae said this year’s festival placed an emphasis on unique, handmade artworks and featured several new attractions including a car show and a small farmers market. She added that cities see great value in supporting the arts because they draw people and can reflect the local culture and tastes.

“I think every city’s dream is to become an art and culture center or at least have a district dedicated to it,” McRae said. “It’s the heart of the city and you want to bring people in to see what makes your city different.”

First-time Sherman Arts Fest vendor Beau Anders showed up his wife Becky and their collection of custom copper hummingbird feeders. Anders said his preparation for such festivals never stops and that’s why he had to outfit his family’s RV as a rolling workshop, complete with tools and machinery.

“Especially when we’ve got a festival like this coming up, I’ll just sit there and make parts constantly and all day,” Anders said. “In fact, my thumbs are sore right now because of all these little, twisted hooks I’ve been making. And I added it all up last month and figured out that in 15 years, I have made over 100,000 feeders.”

Anders, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War, said despite all the work involved, his craft allows him to travel, make friends and, most importantly, make a difference.

“This is my love,” Andres said. “I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t feel like I was helping people and creating something beautiful that really improved their lives.”

Painting with a Twist Managing Owner Tedra Franklin attended the festival as well and welcomed visitors to assist in a communal artwork made of colored bottle caps. Tedra said the medium was different from the usual paint and brush, but her goal was to make it a memorable experience for those who participated.

“It’s always fun to get outside of the box,” Franklin said. “We do so much stuff on canvas and on wood, even wineglasses, but it’s fun to do something where you’re working with different mediums and exposing people to art in a new way.

As she stood with her with her hands full of bottle caps and wood glue, Franklin said a love of art and the drive to be creative is something almost all people share in common, regardless of the medium or the subject.

“I think it’s just human nature that we’re drawn to art or that we’re motivated to create it,” Franklin said. “We’re drawn to things that are beautiful and we’re driven to express ourselves.”