Bay City, Michigan 48706
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Pottery by Jud Tanja of Kalamazoo, Michigan

YWCA River Side Art Festival

June 15, 2003       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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The skies were bright, the temprature mild, and there was no rain. What more could you ask for the YWCA's 30th annual River Side Art Festival in downtown Bay City at Wenona Park. In an interview before the show, YWCA Community Director Tracy Volk kept an eye on the sky and noted the weather has a habit of being good one year and bad the next. Since this year's show started on Friday the 13th, and last year's weather was good, there was reason to cross the fingers.

Of course the weather turned out to be as good as one could hope for. When asked how things went, Volk commented "Wonderful! It was an amazing year and we're very happy." She continued saying "This was my first year to do the festival. It was an awesome experinece. I learned a lot and look forward to putting that to work on next year's event."

This year's festival had 84 artists, which made it larger last year. The juried show featured a number of returning astist as well as some new ones. There were also 12 non-profit organizations and seven food vendors. The layout was a bit different this year which gave the event a new feel for regulars.

Thisyear also saw a new challenge for visitors to find parking. The construction on the new hotel and conference center is right on top of the primary parking lots from previous years. This turned out to be a boon for downtown merchants. In an address to the Bay City Noon Rotary club Rick Nelson of Simmons Jewelry commented that festival visitors parked throughout the downtown area. Traffic in area retail stores increased as did visibility.

The YWCA festival again lived up to its reputation for quality art and entertainment. Volk said that she's already thinking about next year's festival. She said that artist who would like to exhibit, as well a members of the community who would like to volunteer to help, may call her, Tracy Volk, at theYWCA: (989) 686-4800. For more information visit the YWCA Web Site.

HandcraftedBasketry by Rose Golombisky
Saginaw, MI
Sitable Art by Sandy Kirchinger
Hastings, MI
Ted Budnik paints faces
at the YWCA booth
Brandon Ksiazek has his caricature
painted by Chris LaPorte
K. Jean Designs - Freeland
New-Vine Artistic Designs
"Radio Therapy" provided high energy, well amplified music
The "Bay Area Youth Strings" from Kolb Elementary was a bit more subdued.
The Sylvan Meadow - Morley, MI
J & J Floral, Etc. - Midland, MI
Festival organizers estimate over 6,000 people visited the two day show

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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