"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." --William Shakespeare
Sometimes finding your way out of a social slump or a creative dry spell can be somewhat of a daunting task. Other times, it’s a walk in the park.
On Saturday, March 26, the Orange Convention and Visitor’s Bureau invites everyone to join them for a most lovely day of outdoor art appreciation—the 9th annual Art in the Park.
Returning to Orange’s beloved Stark Park located between the Lutcher Theater and the Stark Museum in downtown, the event will host over a hundred arts and crafts vendors lining the inner and outer edges of the park along Green Avenue. Potters, painters, wood carvers, metal workers, artists and artisans are traveling from far and wide to set up shop on the green grass in the Orange city—while many vendors will have artworks and wares for sale, others sign because they just want to be apart of the artistic ambiance of the event by displaying works from their own personal collections.
“We have had a lady that owned a huge painting that she had bought and would bring it out every year,” recalled Orange CVB administrator Darline Zavada. “She was so proud of that painting, she just wanted people to see it. It was like two feet wide and three feet tall, and it really was so beautiful.”
Beginning at 9 a.m., the event (which is free and open to everyone) will have live entertainment on stage all day long, provided by jazz and blues bands including Cypress at 9 a.m., Jim's Dixieland Review at 11:30 a.m. and Boone’s Jazz Quartet going on at 2 p.m. to finish out the day until 4 p.m. And as if that were not enough, local barbershop quartet The Harmony Exporters will be strolling the grounds performing a song wherever they see fit.
While guests peruse the park on what will hopefully be another beautiful Spring Saturday, children will have the opportunity to try their hands at a few hands-on activities in the Kid’s Alley, which will offer several free crafts for children to create and take home, including sand art and spin art.
And rest assured, there will be no starving artists on any Stark Park benches—food vendors will be on site selling festival fare, while Boy Scouts will sell refreshments.
While the event has steadily grown every year, pulling a crowd of over 6,000 guests from all over and beyond the triangle, Zavada said that Art in the Park is a particularly special occasion for those native to Southeast Texas who have moved away.
“It’s a friendship renewal,” she said, adding that one artist, an Orange native, travels from Oklahoma every year to participate in Art in the Park. “A lot of people come down and reacquaint with friends they may not have visited with in a while, and with family—it’s just such a nice, fun day with good food, art, and hopefully nice weather—we always hope for that. And when they all get together, just seeing the people react to what the artists have brought and what the crafters have—it’s like home week.”
With free admission, free parking, free activities for the kids and live entertainment, the only money you’ll need is for delicious food and any outstanding art works that catch your eye. Can you think of a better way to reignite creativity and rekindle old friendships on a Saturday afternoon?
Neither can we.
For more information about Art in the Park, call the Orange CVB at (409) 883-1011 or 883-1010 or visit the office at 803 Green Avenue behind Orange City Hall.
In the best interest of creative kiddos, precious works of art and the overall family friendly atmosphere, guests are asked to leave pets and coolers at home.
Stark Park is at 711 Green Avenue in downtown Orange, located between Lutcher Theater and Stark Museum.