Heading into downtown over weekend of May 21-22, it could have been mistaken as a “Great Day For Football” as thousands of residents and visitors milled around the temporarily pedestrian friendly streets lined with hundreds of white tents.
The City of East Lansing held their 60th Annual Art Festival, filling up Albert Avenue, M.A.C. Avenue, and the grounds surrounding the MSU Union and Human Ecology.
Over 150 artists came together to showcase their work including photography, ceramics, jewelry, furniture design, and so much more for thousands of Michigan residents and visitors.
“I’ve been doing this show, god, scary numbers, over 25 years,” said Mark Wagar, professional glass blower of 34 years.
Located in Southeast Michigan, Wagar said he still enjoys coming to art festivals and talking to people. Having just turned 62, Wagar shared that he’s in the middle these days about working arts and craft fairs.
“It talks to ya, you know what I’m saying, it’s grueling,” said Wagar. “The whole setup and teardown and having to walk to my oversized vehicle eight blocks it’s wow…What else am I gonna do? Go work at Walmart?”
Taylor Kehren, a volunteer for the East Lansing Art Festival, said the goal of the event in her opinion was, “to bring the East Lansing Community together and represent the different artists from around the area and showcase their work.”
Another volunteer, Zander Bowles, said he volunteers because he wanted to help out the community and give back to the artists.
The festival attracted thousands of attendees watching performances, buying food from local food trucks, purchasing art, and enjoying the spring weather downtown.
Ashley Freestone, a Missouri native, said, “[I] kinda just wanted to hang out downtown and…we both like craft fairs, so we kind of wanted to do it together, see kind of what was out.”
Emilia Puda, from Northville, said she came to the art festival to support local artists and businesses.