West Point gears up for Prairie Arts Festival

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

The West Point community is preparing for the 2017 Prairie Arts Festival beginning at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Growth Alliance Director Lisa Klutts said Veterans Drive will be closed all day on Friday and Commerce Street will close at 6 p.m. on Friday to allow vendors to set up their booths.

“This should be no problem with busses and after school traffic on Friday,” she said.

Klutts said on Saturday Commerce Street, Veterans Drive, Broad Street, Mill Street and Westbrook Street will be closed for the festival, and East Street will only allow one way traffic.

“There is no designated parking for the festival,” she said. “Be mindful not to block driveways or fire hydrants.”

Fire Chief Ken Wiilbourne said the best advice for parking is to arrive to the festival early.

“Be careful while looking for a parking spot and be patient,” Wilbourne said. “There will be a lot of people walking and looking for parking too.”

Designated handicapped parking will be located at the Presbyterian church and in the parking lot off of Veterans Drive.

Small Time Hot Dogs and a snow cone truck will be set up in front of City Hall for lunch on Friday. Small Time Hot Dogs will remain at the festival on Saturday, but the snow cone truck will only be set up on Friday.

The festivities will begin on Saturday with the Prairie Arts Festival 5K which will begin at 8 a.m.

Pre-resistration for the 5K ends on Friday, and preregistration prices are $10 for children under 18 and $15 for adults over 18. On the day of the race, the price for children will be $15 and $20 for adults.

Klutts said the Prairie Arts Festival website, www.prairieartsfestival.com, is new this year, and it features maps, vendor lists, photo gallery, and the musician line-up.

Musicians will be performing at the Gazebo in Sally Kate Winters Park and on the Main Stage by the Bryan Public Library, and other musicians will be playing on smaller stages set up around the festival.

The Bryan Public Library will also be a part of the Prairie Arts Festival with the Friends of the Library book sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the artwork in the Student Art Competition made by students in West Point and Clay County schools will be on display there.

Klutts said the festival will feature over 300 booths with locally made arts and crafts, and this year’s featured artist is Jessica Humphreys, who designed this year’s logo on the t-shirt and poster.

“She is an artist that has been to Prairie Arts Festival for several years,” Klutts said in a previous interview. “I try to use vendors that participate in Prairie Arts Festival for multiple years or have a connection to West Point.”

Humphreys said her paintings were done on canvas and used texture and bright colors, and she also tried to spread positivity and her faith through her artwork by using bright colors, song lyrics and other wording.

“My artwork is a combination of Bohemian and Southern influences with texture in the artwork,” Humphreys said.

The festival will also feature water games from the West Point Fire Department, a petting zoo, a mechanical bull and a train ride.

Klutts said pets will not be allowed at the Prairie Arts Festival.

“With a crowd of 10,000 people, pets are not allowed and cannot be accommodated,” Klutts said.

For more information about the Prairie Arts Festival, visit www.prairieartsfestival.org or Facebook.com, or call the Growth Alliance at 494-5121.