Littleton Area Art Festival this weekend

LITTLETON—The 47th annual Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce Art Festival is coming up this weekend with a new coat of paint.

Chamber Downtown Director Jessica Bunker explained, “We have so much talent in our greater Littleton area community both in the fine arts realm and beyond that we decided to incorporate the ‘beyond’ in this year’s festival by extending it into three days.”

The event will kick-off Friday, Sept. 23 at 42 Maple in Bethlehem with a live concert by Vermont singer and songwriter Ana D’Leon. Art Director Angel Larcom is excited to welcome newcomers to the space, and highlight the resident artists as well as the current gallery show of electrophotographer Kristi Beisecker. Doors to the free concert open at 7 p.m.

On Saturday’s events, Bunker commented there will be the, “Traditional art festival feel with a focus on visual arts, along with culinary and musical elements incorporated as well.”

Starting early this week, participating businesses will bring art to their storefronts, either displaying art within their shop or hosting a local artist’s work. “Our thought is to build intrigue prior to the event and to bring as much return as we can to our downtown business owners and participating artists by transforming Main Street itself into a walking gallery,” Bunker explained.

The day of the art festival will bring over 40 artists to Main Street, along with a few twists. “We’re adding elements that will spread the excitement throughout Main Street,” Bunker revealed. With professional musicians such as Raina Wallace and Brad Shedd & Zach Potter playing throughout the day musical arts will be joining this year’s line-up.

Also tying into the event will be demonstrations by local craftsmen, including blacksmith Med Chandler of Ship’s Coye Forge, rug hooking with Lynda Hadlock of White Mountain Woolen Magic, woodturning from tree to finished product with the Twin State Woodturners, and photography with John Anderson Photography.

The Art Festival will also convert part of Main Street to Memory Lane. The Community House is hosting a Sock Hop Dance with donation benefits going towards the Mount Eustis Ski Hill. The Lions Club is also holding their annual car parade at 1:30 p.m. down Main Street with their car show following on Sunday.

Down the road at the Opera House, the Littleton Quilt Guild will be holding their bi-annual quilt show, while the Senior Center will host a penny sale. On the river, Schilling’s Beer Co. will be welcoming the fall the season with their annual Oktoberfest.

The festivities will continue into Sunday, with the focus of, “Highlighting local food producers, culinary artists, musicians, and local craftspeople,” says Bunker. Along with the weekly Littleton Farmer’s Market across the river, Main Street will be converted into a marketplace street fair Bunker calls,  “A fun mix of Farmer’s Market, craftsmen, music, and participation from our culinary member businesses.”

Morris Manning will be playing 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community House, with Dan Salomon in the afternoon.

The Chamber is thrilled with the huge turn out in participation this year, and building up the Art Festival. “I’m excited to see the people who are working so hard on this event,” noted Bunker, “bringing the attention to their businesses and the area. It’s what we strive for at the Chamber.”

The successes of this year will not be the last of them. The Chamber is planning continuous improvement and hopes to develop the Art Festival further in the future. “The amount of participation we have from downtown businesses is phenomenal,” commented Bunker. “More and more participation increases the strength, growth, and longevity of the event- and it enhances business on Main Street.” For a full listing of events, visit http://littletonareachambernh.com/art-in-the-mountains/.