Sherman readies to celebrate 40 years of Arts Festival this weekend

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Sherman's Arts Festival in 2019 featured painting and other activities. The 40th festival kicks off bright and early Saturday morning on the Sherman Municipal Building grounds and surrounding area.

Sherman's biggest fall celebration turns 40 this year and will feature a lot of the traditional elements generations of area folks have enjoyed during pre-COVID-19 times, as well as, some new things.

The Sherman Arts festival is set to take place Saturday on the Sherman Municipal Building grounds.

"It's a big milestone year for us," Main Street Director Sarah McRae said. "We still have all of the things everyone knows and loves but we have added some extra special things to commemorate our 40th year."

Visitors walk past a public art display at the Sherman Arts Fest in 2018. (Drew Smith / Herald Democrat)

Some of those things include more activities for youngsters to do like a Frontier Fun Zone which will feature a rock wall for climbing, turbo tubs of fun, kids swing, giant hungry hippo, tic-tac-toe and connect four, all at no cost. In addition, the Sherman Service League kids alley that will have open air activities like bounce houses and slides, t-shirts and bubbles.

And, of course, there will be plenty of booths for shopping whether one is looking for some fall decorations or getting an early start on that Christmas shopping list.

"This is the largest number of vendors we've seen since I've been putting together the festival since 2016," McRae said. "We've got just over 150 this year."

Most of them are for artisan or handmade unique items for festival patrons to purchase. 

But, the fun isn't all about shopping.

A child plays with chalk at the Sherman Arts Fest in 2019.

There is also going to be live entertainment and food. McRae said just name a type of fun or fair food and it is probably going to be offered there. A large shaded tent with seating for those who wish to munch out of the sun will be available, and there will be seating out in the open as well. 

Live entertainment on various stages throughout the event will include dancing, martial arts and other skills. In addition, That 70s Band will start to play on the main stage at noon.  

One of the newest items featured for the 40th year will be a collaborative mural painting that will take place from at 300 N. Crockett, behind City Hall.

"It's a huge wall and he has already stenciled on the mural and then it will be gridded off and its kind of a paint-by-numbers experience with the community who get to come paint and be a part of making art that is going to be up for everyone to enjoy in downtown," McRae said. 

Attendees and their children stand next to bounce houses at the 2017 Sherman Arts Fest. (Drew Smith / Herald Democrat)

This event is has the biggest participation of groups and organizations throughout the city from the Altrusa teddy bear parade to the Sherman Education Foundations 5k and color run to various dance and other groups that take part, she continued.

Color run participants get sprayed with color in 2015 at the Sherman Arts Fest.  (Chris Jennings / Herald Democrat)

COVID-19 is once again making headlines, and McRae said the Main Street Tourism is taking the same precautions for COVID-19 that they had last year. That will include hand sanitizing stations throughout the event and spaced out booths where ever possible.

"You can wear a mask if you choose to, but we do have the wonderful gift of being outdoors in a large open space so that is really great and also this year a good portion of our city has been vaccinated," McRae said.   

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