Photo courtesy of Methow Arts

The Paperboys are the headline act for this year’s Arts Festival.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to remove an incorrect statement regarding Methow Recycles’ ability to recycle glass. Methow Recycles accepts glass at their Twisp recycling center

By Ann McCreary

Grab your refillable water bottle, hop on your bike and head to the Twisp Town Park next Wednesday for a fun and earth-friendly Fourth of July starting at 11:30 a.m. — right after the Twisp parade down Glover Street.

In addition to a lineup of great entertainment, food and hands-on arts and crafts, Methow Arts’ annual Arts Festival has a new emphasis — reducing waste and promoting recycling.

This year’s “Bicycle-Inspired” Methow Arts Festival encourages people to pedal to the event or join a carpool to reduce the number of cars driving to the festival. Bike riders will have a chance to transform their transportation into a work of art at a special bicycle decorating station.

“Working with our partners, we are creating many new initiatives aimed at reducing waste and getting folks to recycle,” said Amanda Jackson-Mott, executive director of Methow Arts.

“Our decisions are based on the national trend with festivals becoming more eco-friendly. What we can do is control what we ask our food vendors to use at their booths and how we display things to be recycled.”

Methow Arts worked closely with Methow Recycles, the valley’s recycling center, to plan ways to reduce waste and promote recycling, Jackson-Mott said.

“In the past we purchased and sold over 600 plastic water bottles. We are eliminating them from sales completely. There will be a big tent with water available for people to fill water bottles,” she said.

Methow Arts will be offering water bottles with the organization’s logo for $8, or people can put an $8 deposit on a bottle and return it at the end of the day to get their money back, she said. The rented bottles can be commercially washed and used again at future events.

Part of the goal is to educate people to bring their own bottles, she said. All purchased drinks will be provided in recyclable aluminum or plastic cups, Jackson-Mott said.

In previous years Methow Arts used plastic to cover tables at the art booths to protect them from paint, glue and other materials used in the artistic process. That meant a lot of plastic thrown away at the end of the event. This year the tables will be covered with butcher paper, which can be recycled, or oilcloth that can be reused, Jackson-Mott said.

Recycling stations will be located throughout the park, alongside trash cans. Each recycling station will display a sample of items that can be recycled to help festival-goers choose where to put their waste.

“We are thrilled about these decisions and are backed by many community members. WasteWise Methow, Willowbrook Farms, eqpd gear, Blue Star Coffee Roasters, KTRT radio — all are behind this joint effort,” Jackson-Mott said.

The lineup

The Paperboys are the headline act for this year’s Arts Festival, bringing a blend of country-folk-Celtic-bluegrass-rock with a bit of traditional Mexican music thrown in for good measure. Lead singer Tom Landa and the Paperboys are renowned for their energetic live performances and excellent musicianship.

Whitney Mongé is an alternative soul artist based in Seattle and was once known as the “Best Busker in Seattle.” Her music taps into rhythm and blues and is influenced by growing up in the Pacific Northwest during the ‘90s rock scene. She captivates audiences with her dynamic voice and heartfelt performances.

The Trials Stars bike show will wow the festival crowd with world-class bicycling skills and stunt riding. The Trials Stars Bike Demonstration Team includes two of North America’s top bike trial riders, Jeff Anderson and Steve Dickin, who compete for Canada around the world.

Entertainment also features local talents including the Nate Hirsch Band, Aerial Arts with Sarah Prochnau, Christina Stout performing and teaching poi ball dancing, and Keeley Brooks on violin.

In keeping with the bicycle-inspired theme of this year’s Arts Fest, festival goers can festoon their bikes at a bicycle decorating station, where they can make baskets, flags or personal license plates. Favorite arts activities will include face painting and tie-dye T-shirts, along with bicycle wind chimes, pendants and many more creative opportunities.

The popular pie-eating contest will move to center stage, so everyone can watch the hilarious battle of mouth, stomach and will.

A variety of tantalizing options will be offered by local food vendors, including La Fonda Lopez, FORK Food Truck, Rocking Horse Bakery, Manja Wood-Oven Pizza, Teriyaki Corral, iced Blue Star Coffee and more. The festival will also offer beer and wine for purchase. Purchases at the festival are cash or checks only.

Tickets are available at the festival or in advance at the Methow Arts office in Twisp, or online at brownpapertickets.com. Admission is $5 for kids 5-15. This year, as a result of support from sponsors and donors, kids 5 and older will get to make unlimited art projects all day with $5 admission. Adult admission is $12; children under 4 are free.

For information contact Methow Arts at 997-4004 or info@MethowArtsAlliance.org.