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Black Swamp Arts Festival Celebrates 20 Yearsby Emily Rippe
20 years ago, members in the Bowling Green community realized their town offered something special: A vibrant arts and entertainment scene. The fall of 1993 welcomed the first ever Black Swamp Arts Festival, which showcased the talents of local artists and musicians. Two decades later, and the festival is stronger than ever with a larger planning committee, a substantial increase in participating artists and performers, and of course, a rise in visitors.
The 20th Annual Black Swamp Arts Festival runs the weekend of Friday, September 7-Sunday, September 9th, and kicks off Friday evening with live performances on Main Street and street cart food vendors (set up in the marking lot behind Panera Bread and Sam B's). The festival itself has become a tradition for the community and returning students and is held the weekend after Labor Day. Admission is free.
The Juried and Wood County Invitational art shows run all day Saturday and Sunday, with live musical performances on several stages and at various venues along Main Street. The Main Stage welcomes an array of national, regional and local acts spanning a variety of genres. 2012 headliners include The Bright Light Social Hour, The Dynamites ft. Charles Walker, Sierra Leone's Refugee Allstars and Rock and Roll Fame inductee Booker T. Jones.
Two art shows and an interactive youth art area round out the event. Check out the juried fine art fair, featuring more than 100 artists displaying everything from watercolor, jewelry and sculpture to photography, mixed media and glass. Additionally, 50 local artists from Bowling Green State University and Artists at Work will be presenting and demonstrating their work at the festival. A fine craft show is also included in the weekend's festivities.
The Black Swamp Arts Festival is an all-ages event. In the Youth Art Area, kids can express their creative ideas by making a variety of art projects. Musical and theatrical performances geared toward children take place on the Youth Art Stage.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.blackswamparts.org.
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