Looking for a little fun in the sun this weekend? Don’t miss the Waterloo Arts District’s hottest day of the year. The 15th Annual Waterloo Arts Fest takes place from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, on Waterloo Road, between East 161st Street and Calcutta Avenue.
This year’s Waterloo Arts Fest features more than 100 artists, 40 bands and DJs, 20 food vendors and food trucks, children’s activities, entertainment, roaming street performers, parade puppets, stilt walkers and more. Performances will take place on multiple outdoor stages and inside local businesses throughout the district all day. This year’s fest includes several new elements, including a storytelling stage, DayGlo Playscape, hula hoop workshop, yoga, chalk mandalas and a pop-up natural playground by Humans to Nature.
Although the Waterloo Arts Fest is in its 15th year, Waterloo Arts executive director Amy Callahan describes a newfound understanding of the event’s true purpose: “We have guiding principles and a kind of flavor we were going for, but this year I realized the real purpose of the event. For seven hours every year, we are modeling the best qualities of a bustling city street. We are trying to create the feeling you have when you visit any great urban area around the world: a place with a mix of people — young, old, every shade and every style — all working and playing together with interesting things happening all around you.”
The Waterloo Arts District includes several arts and cultural organizations, such as Waterloo Arts, Praxis Fiber Workshop, Brick Ceramic + Design Studio, Zygote Press’ Ink House, the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern, Loren Naji’s Satellite Gallery, Article Gallery and several individual artist studios.
Again this year, Waterloo Arts presents its annual Waterloo Arts Fest Juried Exhibition. Open to anyone over the age of 18 residing in the U.S. or Canada, this year’s competitive show is selected by Anderson Turner, director of the School of Art Collection and Galleries at Kent State University and art critic for the Akron Beacon Journal. New this year, the exhibition has expanded to three venues: Waterloo Arts, Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic Studio + Design. Be sure to stop by all three sites to see the entire exhibition and all the award-winning entries.
(Waterloo Arts) 15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500, waterlooarts.org.