This unique, family-friendly event features local artists, food vendors, a sidewalk chalk art contest, inflatables, two music venues featuring a variety of music throughout the day, stilt walking, mountain storytelling, a children’s art exhibit, book signings from local children's book authors, train rides and a free art activity tent.
Local artists will demonstrate blacksmithing, jewelry making, tattoo flash art, pottery, fiber arts, painting, wood-whittling and much more. ArtFEST is the perfect opportunity to take home a piece of local art and North Carolina heritage. Be sure to come out and support these local artists.
Storyteller Orville Hicks of Boone, a National Heritage Award recipient, will share his mountain stories from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Once Upon a Time Books tent on East First Street. North Carolina author Julia Taylor, who wrote a book about Hicks’ life and stories, will sign books at the tent.
The storytelling continues with N.C. author Libby Bagby, who will be at the Catawba County Museum of History. She will recount the tale of the rescue of a Plott Hound named Lucky. The museum will remain open to visitors throughout ArtFEST.
The Old Post Office Playhouse, the New Art School and Clayter Kaye Theatre Works are showcasing the classes they offer throughout the year. Additionally, the New Art School’s ballerinas will be in attendance at ArtFEST. And a pop group from Clayter Kaye Theatre Works is set to perform at Yount Park.
Musical entertainment will range from rock and blues to beach music to bluegrass acts from Shoemaker and Estepp, GMC Jazz, Music Unlimited, Raiford Street and James Glenn. Entertainment sponsors include Burke Mortuary, Corne & Cilley, BB&T, Robinson Office Products, Catawba Realty and Insurance, ABC Florist, Twin City Insurance and Robert A. Mullinax PLLC.
The sidewalk chalk art contest will take place around the 1924 Courthouse Square. The contest is free to students and $5 for adults. The fee includes chalk. The contest judges are artists Margaret Moose, Dave Lefevers and Newton-Conover City Schools retired art teacher Riley Yount. Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman will announce the contest winners. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 12 and under, 13 and over and People’s Choice. Godoy Art Studio, 2 Pink Magnolias and The Perfect Workout donated the prizes.
Gospel Life Church will host the children’s art activity tent. Materials will be available at the tent to make trick-or-treat bags for the upcoming Halloween Spooktacular, set for Oct. 26 in downtown Newton. Children who bring their handmade bags to Spooktacular will receive a special prize.
New this year, the Studio on East B Street will feature a children’s art exhibition which will run for a month beginning Sept. 21. All art media are welcome, and the art may be marked for sale. Works should be submitted ready to hang to the studio by Sept. 20. There is no fee to display the art.
In conjunction with ArtFEST, the Newton Nights Concert Series brings local favorite Praline Betty to the stage from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20. Blue Moon Tavern is sponsoring the concert. The performance will take place on the East First Street side of the 1924 Courthouse. The Newton Elk’s Lodge will host a beer garden, with proceeds benefitting its charities which assist women in need and purchase dictionaries for local elementary schools.
Children can get a head start on ArtFEST with a balloon wall dart game, which will serve as a backdrop for photos the next day. Kids may also enjoy the free inflatables during the Newton Nights concert.
Downtown Newton businesses will host a two-day Food, Art and Wine Crawl concurrently with Newton Nights and ArtFEST. Sample all the flavors, cuisine and art downtown Newton has to offer. Stop by The Studio on East B Street to pick up a map.
Artist vendor applications are still available here. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Sept. 16. For more information email NewtonFestivalAndEvents@gmail.com or call Jessica Setzer at (828) 578-0127. Like “City of Newton Festival and Events Committee” on Facebook to stay up-to-date on upcoming events.