7 Sep 2011

The Black Swamp Arts Festival “radiates community pride”

Author: Sarah Bailey | Filed under: Black Swamp Arts Festival, Student Contributor

Photo from the Black Swamp Arts Festival website

By Sarah Bailey

Long-time volunteer Earlene Kilpatrick knows the ins and outs when it comes to the upcoming Black Swamp Arts Festival.

Kilpatrick, a 14-year hospitality volunteer for the Black Swamp Arts Festival, described the festival as a free community event that “radiates community pride.”

Kilpatrick has dedicated much of her time over the years, serving as a liaison between business owners and the festival’s committee. After accepting a position for the downtown business association in years past, Kilpatrick became more actively involved in the festival.

New to the festival this year is more pre-festival marketing such as the distribution of buttons and pins, she said. She emphasized how the quality of music and art each year has been phenomenal and continues to grow. Kilpatrick also spoke about how new committee members have brought in fresh ideas this year, and around 500 volunteers have stepped up to make the festival happen.

She said she was drawn to festival years ago for its free art, music, and youth art activities. She had two young children at the time, and the festival is a nice blend for a family who is on a budget to enjoy, she said.

Kilpatrick said her favorite part of the festival is the international, national, and local music, and seeing the entire community come together. Her “must-sees” list included the Wood County Invitational Show and the BGSU art students’ area.

More importantly, she said that knowing she is a part of making the festival happen gives her a sense of community pride. The best feeling, she said, is looking down Main Street at the crowd and seeing how many people are truly enjoying themselves.

For more information, Kilpatrick suggests visiting www.blackswamparts.org and downloading a schedule of the event.

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