Photo by Bridget Caswell
Good times and smiles at the Waterloo Arts Fest
After being cancelled last year due to Covid concerns, the Waterloo Arts Festival will return next weekend on Sept. 11 from noon to 7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.
Five stages will feature music throughout the afternoon and galleries in the district will be open, including Waterloo Arts and Photocentric which will be featuring works in the Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition.
“Last spring, as the vaccination schedule rolled out, we were optimistic, but things still seemed too uncertain to begin planning a June Waterloo Arts Fest so we made the call to postpone,” said Waterloo Arts Executive Director, Amy Callahan. “We didn’t know then if we would have to cancel again but we wanted to put some sort of community event together because we know how important it is to come together with neighbors and friends, especially in times of uncertainty and stress. It is also important to be mindful of health risks, but because the festival is mostly outdoors, with plenty of room to spread out, and September weather is usually more temperate than June, making mask wearing a viable option for anyone vulnerable.”
The festival stretches a half mile on Waterloo Rd. from Calcutta to E 161st Street.
The fest will feature local bands such as Lea Marra & the Dream Catchers, Super Babes, MuAmin Collective, Sammy Slims, Tischler Klezmer Orchestra and more offering an eclectic mix of musical genres. There will be a host local handmade art vendors, food trucks, and interactive art experiences for all ages.
"I'm looking forward to closing the street down and seeing people relax and enjoy the day with family and friends,” said Callahan. “It will be a full event but I'm not worrying about every nook and cranny of the street being programmed. I think it is ok to give people some space this year and have a more relaxed event. There will still be 5 outdoor stages, street performers, art and community vendors, art exhibits, crazy art installations, and activities for everyone, but there will also be room to spread out so you can choose your level of engagement.”
Waterloo Arts advises is urging anyone planning on attending to be vaccinated, but there's no requirement. They do encourage masks and social distancing for those who aren't jabbed.