Hand-crafted art, crafts and entertainment is on tap as the Tooele Arts Festival returns to Aquatic Center Park this weekend.
The festival, a Tooele County tradition since 1985, will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The free event, which opens daily at 10 a.m., will feature more than 60 visual artists, according to co-director Kaye Beeny.
There will be myriad media of art on display and for sale, including paintings, ceramics, iron works, sketches, quilting and more, Beeny said. While many will be from Tooele County, there will also be artists from Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, California and Colorado.
Attendees of the festival enjoy visiting the county’s local visual artists, according to Beeny.
“We like to support our local folks,” she said.
While attendees browse the artists’ wares, there will be entertainment throughout the day at the park. There will be various local performers, including dance and gymnastics groups, and the Tooele Summer Orchestra.
Around 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and all day on Sunday, there will be musical performances by groups from Tooele County and around the state. Featured performers, country-rock band The Krew and pop artist Dallas Wayde will perform at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
All of the performers are family-friendly, Beeny said, and the festival as a whole has a lot to offer for younger attendees. There will be a rotating craft station for those looking to get hands-on, as well as the opportunity to create spin art, where paint is drizzled onto rotating vinyl records to create a unique pattern.
Kids of all ages are welcome to enter the watermelon contests held on Saturday. The youngest group, ages 5-11, will compete at 3:45 p.m., followed by the 12-17 age group at 4 p.m. and the adults at 4:15 p.m.
For anyone hungry for something beside watermelon, there will be plenty of options for something to eat during the festival. Beeny said there will be about 20 different food vendors at the event, offering a variety of culinary treats.
In the lead up to the event, the Tooele City Arts Council is sponsoring a plein air art contest, with the winners to be displayed at the Tooele Arts Festival. The drawings, paintings or photographs must be completed in Tooele County and “in the open air,” the English translation of the French “en plein air.”
Beeny said the contest is a great way for local artists to submit a piece to the arts festival without having to reserve a booth. The contest is broken down into age 12 and under, amateur and experienced categories.
While the event is outdoors and open to the public, Beeny said only registered service animals are allowed at the art festival.
For more information on the Tooele Arts Festival this weekend, visit tooeleartsfestival.org, or facebook.com/TooeleArtsFestival.