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Artafest, Pioneer Day merge to ‘double the fun’ on Aug. 17

  • The Floyd County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Day and Charles City’s annual Artafest celebration have merged into one event this year, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Andres Park, right next to the Floyd County Historical Museum. (Press file photo James Grob.)

  • The Floyd County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Day and Charles City’s annual Artafest celebration have merged into one event this year, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Andres Park, right next to the Floyd County Historical Museum. (Press file photo James Grob.)

  • The Floyd County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Day and Charles City’s annual Artafest celebration have merged into one event this year, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Andres Park, right next to the Floyd County Historical Museum. (Press file photo James Grob.)

  • The Floyd County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Day and Charles City’s annual Artafest celebration have merged into one event this year, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Andres Park, right next to the Floyd County Historical Museum. (Press file photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

It’ll be two Charles City celebrations wrapped into one.

“It’s really double the fun,” said Janeice Bergland.

The Floyd County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Day and Charles City’s annual Artafest celebration have both typically been held on the third Saturday in August, at separate locations.

This year, they’ll both be at the same spot.

“We are so excited that the two organizations are partnering this year,” said Mary Ann Townsend, who is director of the Floyd County Museum. “I think it’s a big plus for both of us.”

The event will be known as Art and Heritage Fest, and it will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Andres Park, right next to the Floyd County Historical Museum. Bergland, who serves on the Artafest committee and has been to nearly all of the previous 45 annual Artafest events in Charles City, said the merger will give both events a “fresh look.”

“I think the museum is underrated for the amazing facility that it is,” Bergland said. “Hopefully some of our exhibits can cross over a bit.”

The event will be free and open to the public and will combine engaging children’s activities and provide a variety of food selections for sale. In addition, there will be live entertainment all day.

“We are in another of the beautiful parks in Charles City,” Bergland said. “Andres Park has lots of shade and places to sit and enjoy the live entertainment.”

“I’ve had a lot of people stop me downtown and say ‘what a great idea that is, you should have done it before,’” Townsend added. “Sometimes we’ve had to wait for Artafest to get over for a lot of people to come here. Now they’re already here.”

Island Grill Food Truck will be there, also, and the Charles City Artafest Committee will be selling pulled pork sandwiches with chips as well as pop, water, coffee and homemade pie. Entertainers will include Isaac Jensen and Hayden Pleggenkuhl, Sonny Diesburg, the Charles City Community Chamber Orchestra, the Nolt Family Singers, Polka Prost and pianist Harrison Scheckler.

In addition, the 19th Amendment Society will provide a van to transport people back and forth to the Carrie Lane House. The event is going on at the same time as the home’s 100-year anniversary celebration of women gaining the right to vote.

Museum activities will include butter making, sewing and weaving, heirloom vegetables with free samples, rope making, candle making, a cider press with free samples, an old-fashioned soda jerk with free root beer samples and free rock candy, homemade ice cream samples and more.

Bergland said that one added advantage is the artists will be able to go inside if the weather is uncooperative. She said preparations have been going well, and more than 30 artists have committed to setting up shop at the event.

“I think it’s coming along just fine,” she said. “We have a good group of artists. We have a nice variety. We have visual artists, pottery, wood and more.”

Artists attending and displaying their wares include, Bergland, Anne Boerschel, Amy Chatfield, Sheila Devereaux, Kathi Fehr, Maddie Fletcher, Amanda Gebel, Shannon and Colleen Graham, Ron Hahlen, Bill Haywood, Dennis Helmers, Dan and Mickey Johnson, Yoshiko Johnson, James Kerns, Ernie and Claudia Koch, Ann Bishop McGregor, Dennis Peterson, Doug Reynolds, Megan Roethler, Tyler Sandstrom, Stephen Schiller, Ashley Koebrick Schmidt, Bob Schmeider, Angela Shepard, Darlene Shultz, Meagan Steinberg, Katie Syhlman, Kurt Wedeking and Outreach Africa.

Artafest Bucks — vouchers awarded by sponsors to the public to help them make purchases from the artists — will be available, as always.

The juror for Artafest 2019 will be Corwin Dunlap. He will award prizes to exhibiting artists for first through third place and honorary mentions. The first place prize is $100, second $75, and third $50. Honorary mention prizes are $20. Dunlap earned bachelors and masters degrees at Northern Iowa and taught K-12 Art for Nashua-Plainfield Schools for 35 years.

First prize at Artafest last year went to painter David Prehm, while second prize was awarded to Petersen and third prize went to Kerns.

Bergland said the first Artafest was five years after the infamous 1968 tornado hit Charles City, and it lasted five days. The first event was located at a house and barn just outside of town. The house was used as the gallery and the barn was also a theater, utilized by the Stony Point Players.

Since then, the event has been located at several parks and other locations throughout Charles City. Artafest has been in Central Park for about 30 years.

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