By Jeff Gallatin
Olmsted Festival of the Arts officials are taking a youthful approach to activities at the event this year, which they believe will make it even better.
“It’s still growing and getting even better,” said Paul Schumann, a festival organizer and member of the Olmsted Historical Society. “We’re still adding people and activities, and it seems to be growing every year.”
This year’s event is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 11 and will again be held on the Frostville Museum Campus off Cedar Point Road in the Cleveland Metroparks.
Formed several years ago when organizers merged a former music festival and juried arts event into one larger festival, Schumann said the merger continues to aid all the people involved in the festival – both visitors and participants.
“There’s just a lot of activities going on all over the place, so people can find something that interests them and whatever they’re interested in, be it music, arts and crafts, history or a combination of things,” he said. “This year we’ve added some balloon arts and crafts, which we think the children will really enjoy. They’ll be able to see and get some really fun and unique balloons, which kids usually enjoy.”
In addition, Schumann said the show will also see the return of artwork from North Olmsted High School students.
“That’s something that we heard people wanted back and wanted to see,” he said. “It’s really amazing what these kids do in terms of art and design nowadays.”
In addition, he said there will again be a wide range of musical talent performing on two stages at the event.
The main stage will be behind the barn, with the second also on the campus but away from the main one and the campus’ church, which in other years has hosted musical events.
“We decided to have the church open for people to look around it and see all the work that’s been done in restoring it as a historic building,” he said.
Schumann said North Olmsted High School jazz students and their group will also be performing.
In addition, he said there will be booths and participants from the merchants who take part in the farmers markets held every Saturday at the campus during the summer months.
“There will be a lot of food and other items available, so if people want something to eat at the festival, they’ll be able to get something,” he said. “And if they want something they can take home, they’ll be able to do that, too.”
He said there also will be a wide range of arts and crafts displays and items for sale as well.
That variety of events and displays helps make the event a popular one, Jeff Herwick, president of the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce, said.
“It’s one of my favorite events,” Herwick said. “It’s something I always enjoy attending with members of the family. And it also does a great job of bringing people into North Olmsted and the park system.”
Schumann said the participants and sponsors do a great job of making the event fun for all.
“They really get into making it better and more interesting each year,” he said.