Art in Park offers many family-friendly events

Riccola Harness, then 4, of Augusta, painted a pot during 2007's Art in the Park in Columbia County, an event where children experience art firsthand.

Dozens of Columbia County artists and visual performers will get together Saturday for the sixth annual Art in the Park at Memorial Garden and Amphitheater in Evans.


For the first time, the Columbia County Ballet will kick off the free event at 10 a.m. with Mayfest. Columbia County Arts Secretary Cyndy Epps said the performance schedule also includes music acts, a poetry reading and two groups of dancers.

Epps, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, said her favorite part of Art in the Park is the sidewalk chalk contest, which offers cash prizes for ages 12 and under, 13-18, and 18 and older. The entry fee for the contest is $10, and the grand-prize winner will receive $100, with $50 and $25 prizes awarded in each age group.

Epps said nine Columbia County schools have registered for the competition, and one elementary, middle and high school will win a $100 gift for the art department at their school.

The family-friendly event will feature 42 vendor tents. That will include hands-on demonstrations for adults, easels where artists can paint, and plenty of activities for kids. Food will be available.

"It's just really a hands-on opportunity for people to see both the visual and performing arts that are offered in our community," said Epps, who estimated that the event attracts more than 2,000 people.