A mix of old and new
ARLINGTON — Along with more than 70 vendors on the new Olympic Avenue, new and familiar faces will be featured at the Arlington Street Fair July 11, 12 and 13.
Many vendors are providing activities for children as the new organizers of the fair are offering free space to nonprofit organizations kid stuff in their exhibits.
Julie Tate is chairing the event for the Downtown Arlington Business Association with assistance from a group of the members.
“We don’t have any food booths, so the restaurants better be ready,” Tate said.
The Arlington Arts Council is one of the nonprofit groups offering a special creativity table for children — Along with its showcase of Arlington area artists, Erika Bruss will be offering very artistic face paintings on Friday and Saturday and Laura Kuhl will be doing a pottery project on Saturday. There will also be a chance for the creative types to have a go at abstract painting, with finished works to be displayed on a clothesline in the booth.
The street fair is a celebration of local talent, according to the co-chairs of entertainment, MaryRose Denton and Kara Keating, who wanted to offer something new and different as well on the new street to make the fair lively and fun for all.
“That’s why we are bringing in Pure Cirkus, with jugglers and stilt walkers on the street all day Saturday, Denton said.
They have also booked the old favorite Old Time Fiddlers, and a story teller who combines modern with tradition, Gene Tagaban, from Whatcom County. They are excited about the Arlington Idol contest, which is the featured entertainment starting soon after 6 p.m. Friday. Local talent has come out of the woodwork for a cash prize donated by Keating’s Movement Arts.
Maybe even more for the possible honor of being named Arlington’s Idol, Keating said. The contest starts at 6 p.m. Friday evening and the community is encouraged to witness the spectacle.
Keating and Denton are both dancers and practitioners of yoga, and they will be performing themselves along with many other dance troupes at a designated dancing area in the city parking lot, near the gazebo. Their performing group, Harbinger is scheduled at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, following Tahitian dancing and a yoga demonstration. They have recruited two different belly dancing troupes: Firebellies at 5 p.m. Friday and Rishi’s Egypt Dance Compay, at 6:15 p.m. Saturday. There will also be a jazz band providing music for classic ballroom dancing in the parking lot on Saturday evening with lessons included with Dina Blade’s Jazz Band.
A nice variety of music ranges from the fiddlers (3 p.m., Friday) and some country (2 p.m., Friday,) and Real Folk (4 p.m., Sunday) and some acoustic by soloist Rejoice (2:30 p.m., Saturday), who will also get a little wild with her band following the Idol contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening. On Sunday a couple of church groups are scheduled starting at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jason Martin is bringing his outstanding gospel singers, at 3 p.m. An acoustic indie set featuring Nikko Van Wyck and Wesley Williams is also slipped in there, at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Especially for kids, the show opens with Gene Tagaban is scheduled in the gazebo at 1 p.m Friday. Tagaban is a noted Tlingit storyteller and actor who shares his wisdom and talent via dance, Native flute and storytelling. His unique style is a powerful mode of storytelling, creating a love of story and language, with special attention to Native stories of family members. Tagaban seeks to nurture a value for learning and culture that young children respect and follow. Tagaban’s amazing vocal versatility and physical storytelling delight and enrapture audiences of all ages. His performances reflect his combined Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino ancestry. He began dancing at the age of five and grew up listening to and learning the songs, dances and stories of Alaska’s Tlingit people.
Another fun show for kids, Bruce Meyers is bringing his magic tent to the merchants parking lot Friday afternoon.