Summerfest 2014: a kaleidoscope of art, music and activities

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By Sandy Barnes

Kids turned somersaults in the green grass while their parents gazed at artistic creations and listened to live music at Summerfest on Saturday afternoon.

The 35th annual event, sponsored by the Center for the Arts Evergreen, featured more than 100 artists who came from near and far to Buchanan Park to display their works this past weekend.

“I think the festival keeps getting better and better,” said Steve Sumner, CAE executive director. “It was a wonderful community party.”

The photography of Coloradans Fi Rust and Joel Higgs featured stunning images of animals and native plants rendered in vivid colors. Both photographers work in digital format to create images of nature depicting dramatic scenery and wildlife.

Unique items at this year's event included handmade pet collars created by Shannon Reiswig of Denver and a selection of Greek food products offered by David Perkins of Estes Park.

Perkins said he discovered the line of Greek oils, herbs and vinaigrettes while staying in Maine and decided to market them at events in Colorado.

Along with traditional art and photography at the festival were selections of handcrafted jewelry, clothing and tropical air plants in glass hanging vases offered by Natasha Walker of Fort Collins. And potter Janice Hatch of Englewood was selling hand-thrown clay works with aspen themes at her booth.

Festival-goers also had a good selection of food and beverages from which to choose at Summerfest, including a sampling of beers from Colorado breweries.

For the second year, Summerfest offered a Palette of Brews featuring 18 breweries, most of which are in the Front Range. Friends stood in groups chatting and tasting beers from Tommyknockers in Idaho Springs and Oskar Blues in Lyons, as well as a variety of other mircrobrews.

Another innovative component of this year’s Summerfest was musical entertainment by local groups at the Saturday Night Live venue.

Joe Bye and Friends began the musical entertainment with vintage tunes performed at midafternoon. Accompanied by Jerry Lee Lewis-style keyboards, Bye sang, “Get your kicks on Route 66” to an audience gathered under a large tent.

Children who came to the festival had a chance to watch a magic show, have their faces painted, and hunt for storybook character Waldo.

Dressed in a red-and-white-striped costume, Marcie Dahlen of Hearthfire Books was giving kids clues as to where a Waldo figure might be at Summerfest while book shop owner Kappy Kling called out winners of the search.

Summerfest is the major fund-raiser for the Center for the Arts Evergreen, which traditionally draws people from throughout the region.

While the final tally of those who attended the festival had not been completed before press time for the Canyon Courier, Sumner estimated that this year's event saw record-breaking attendance.

Sumner said that he was pleased by the number of Colorado products that were offered at the festival, and hopes to have more of them next year.

He also expressed appreciation for the 140 volunteers who assisted with Summerfest.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com.