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Archive for Monday, May 3, 1999

ART DRAWS THOUSANDS TO FESTIVAL

May 3, 1999

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Several thousand people shopped for items for Mother's Day and graduation gifts, or just for themselves, at the annual Art in the Park festival on Sunday.

Cloudy skies and breezy conditions didn't put a damper on the 38th annual Art in the Park festival Sunday in South Park.

"We've had a lot of comments about people really liking the show this year," said registration coordinator Carrie Sinks.

Although a few sprinkles may have scared off some residents, organizers said foot traffic for this year's show appeared to be up.

"It's great, we are very pleased," said Lori Genna, chair of Art in the Park, which is sponsored by the Lawrence Art Guild.

"I think the reason it's been so successful is because the guild and the planning committee worked hard together."

There were 69 artists, 13 food and drink booths, and four live bands for this year's festival.

Because people are constantly wandering in and out of South Park for the daylong event, an official attendance count is nearly impossible to tabulate.

But organizers estimate 10,000 to 12,000 people stop by each year.

The festival featured jewelry, paintings and drawings, sculpture, and other works of art for sale.

"I like seeing all the different art," said 15-year-old Karen Mayse.

"And the kettle corn's really good," added her friend, Merry Chadwick.

Lisa Nelick, owner of Prairie Harbor Flowers, said she was making a fair number of dried flower sales.

"It sprinkled early on and that may have kept some of the people away," she said. "But the turnout has been pretty good."

Many people were looking for Mother's Day or graduation gifts, artists said.

"That's what we always target for," said Shanna Wagner, who was selling stained glass picture frames, mirrors and lamp shades.

Gary Smith, who was selling black and white pictures of a volcanic eruption he witnessed in 1997 in the Carribean, said there was something for everyone at Art in the Park.

"There's all kinds of things here," he said.

"I bought a Mother's Day present," Karen said. "It's a good place to find stuff."

Pat Ransone, treasurer of the Lawrence Art Guild, said organizers were thinking of making Art in the Park a two-day festival in the future.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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