This past weekend we were blessed with some of the finest days of the summer so far, and the people came and came to attend Arts in the Park, and as they made their way to and from the event, the town was busting at the seams. This was the 20th annual event and was more successful than ever thanks to the support and help from many. It is with very mixed feelings that the committee has decided that this will be our last year to organize the event. However, we are very happy to tell you that Friends of Belfast Parks will be placing Arts in the Park in the very capable hands of the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce and the Belfast Parks and Recreation Department.
First and foremost the artists, 80 of them, who set up, unpack, smile and chat with thousands of people, some who buy and some who don’t, then pack everything up again – without them there would be no Arts in the Park. THANK YOU! Also, I would like to pay a special tribute to the all-volunteer Arts in the Park committee, who work together in a happy and cohesive way all year long and then spend the weekend joyfully and tirelessly assisting artists and visitors alike – without them this event would not be the great show that it is. Our Artist of the Year, Ron Cowan, has been a regular at Arts in the Park from year one! His muses have graced the show and been an integral display for all these years. Then there are the musicians –the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, who get people up dancing and tapping their toes; Aurora Jazz Project who, in their words, “can swing like no one’s business, dial up some serious funk, and turn jazz classics on their head so many times that when the dust clears 15 minutes later it’s hard to tell where it all began”; Leaky Boot Jug Band, self proclaimed “Waldo County rabble rousers”; Dave & Fran Plus; the amazing People of Earth, who play anything from rock to reggae, and Downeast Brass, who closed out the show . The food vendors who kept us happy in other ways – Ye Olde Fish ‘n’ Chips, The Good Kettle, the Uproot Pie Co., Stone Fox Farm Creamery, and the Game Loft. Thanks to the city for letting us use that beautiful park on the harbor and waterfront, Kathy Pickering, harbormaster and her crew, Norm Poirer and Parks & Rec., the Public Works department. Our security guys, Doug and Wayne; Ray Estabrook, and the Game Loft kids who help during the weekend and with clean-up; Caleb and Jason – for their help setting up tents on; Dennis Urick for all the heavy-lifting and installation of signage. Thanks to John Holmes for allowing us use of his property for artist parking, and to Malcolm Gater, our “parking sheriff” who so ably organized the vehicles during the event. Jim LeClair, who makes many posts on Facebook and other media outlets and is always looking for ways to increase our visibility! Our sponsors for their donations and contributions, without them we wouldn’t have the music or be able to publicize the event as widely: Bangor Savings Bank, Belfast Co-op, Belfast Harbor Inn, Camden National Bank, City Drawers, Colonial Theatre, Consumers Fuel Co., Coyote Moon, Cross Insurance, Cultured Canines, Front Street Shipyard, Insight Video Productions, Interiors by Janis Stone, Key Bank, Little River Veterinary Hospital, Mainely Naturals, Mainely Used Cars, Old Stuff, Penobscot Bay Dentistry, Searsport Shores Ocean Camping, Smart DataMap Services, Viking, Inc.
For the countless hours and all the work given generously, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who pulled it all together: The Arts in the Park Committee who work tirelessly for 10 months – Edie Buron, Barbara Plummer, Carol Gater – we can now enjoy some R&R. On the weekend Kate Bartlett, Judy and David Beebe, Carol Good, Marsha and Jerry Kaplan, Sherry Krum, Dale Kuhnert, and Fran Torreson, and finally, thanks to those who support the event each year by coming and shopping, eating, listening to the music – we need you. All proceeds will go to Friends of Belfast Parks to be used for improvements of our city park facilities.