BlackberryBushes-postThe Blackberry Bushes will perform at the Methow Arts Festival July 4 in the Twisp park.

 

BY DON NELSON

The 2013 Fourth of July weekend gets off to an early start – on a Thursday – in downtown Twisp with the traditional (and eclectic) parade followed by the 26th annual Methow Arts Fest at the town park.

The parade proceeds north from the TwispWorks campus down Glover Street beginning at 11 a.m. Parade organizer Vicki Hallowell said parade participants should show up in the TwispWorks parking lot by 10 a.m.

As usual, there is no guarantee who will or won’t take part. “It’s kind of a loose parade,” Hallowell said. “Whoever wants to be in it is welcome.”

Typically the lineup includes horses, fancy cars, police and fire departments, musicians, floats and candy for the kids.

Entertaining as it is, the parade never takes all that long. It segues neatly into the Arts Fest, whose theme this year is “Art sparks the imagination” – celebrating 30 years of Methow Arts activities.

The fest will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offers a variety of activities and entertainments for the whole family – although children are especially provided for. Kids tend to cluster around the dozen or so hands-on demonstration booths where participants can make their own artworks to take home.

Featuring teaching artists and community volunteers, the art booths include annual favorites such as Laverty Construction’s Wooden Boats, face-painting, (temporary) tattoos, as well as new booths like the Bim Bam Wig Wam Community Art Sculpture, painted lanterns, brilliant botanical prints, leather cuff bracelets, sand mandalas, magical scrolls and book arts. For those who want to dress the part, spark-themed costumes of flaming headdresses and torches will be available.

Demonstration booths will feature painters, glass artists, massage therapists and baby goats.

Then there’s the music.

A highlight will be the Gothard Sisters, three young women from the Seattle area who specialize in lively Celtic music – and dancing. All are trained as classical violinists but also play a variety of instruments, and have traveled internationally for Irish dancing competitions. They have recorded six CDs.

The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, a Northwest alt-folk trio, returns to the Methow with an acoustic sound that draws from the deep roots of American traditional music. The band has traveled widely for appearances in the United States and internationally.

Also on the schedule are DJ SpaceyJ, oriental dance by Salyna’s Scheherazades, and dance music by Deirdre Luvon.

Of course, there will be a pie-eating contest as well. The Wagner Memorial Pool will be open for swimmers.

The artwork featured on the 2013 Arts Festival poster is by local artist Jeffrey Winslow.

Local foods, drinks and treats will be available for purchase during the festival. Admission is $5 for kids 6 and up (which includes five free booth tickets) and $7 for adults. Advance tickets and reduced-fee family passes are available at BrownPaperTickets.com, Twisp Daily Business, and Riverside Printing in Winthrop.

Free tickets are available to clients of The Cove Food Bank, Room One, and the Methow Valley Senior Center, at those locations (all in Twisp).

Volunteers are still needed, and each will receive a free T-shirt. For more information, call 997-4004.