COLUMBIANA Artists register for Festival of the Arts

Organizers invite local artists to display their work at the festival.
COLUMBIANA -- Nearly 300 antique, fine arts and crafts dealers have registered for the 19th annual Harvey S. Firestone Park Festival of the Arts, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 4 at the park.
Mary Louise Dicken, festival co-coordinator, said the area's finest arts and crafts are offered for an enjoyable day of shopping and entertainment.
Cash awards are given for the best craft, fine craft and fine art work. Crafters are drawn from the area and across Ohio and surrounding states, as well as Florida and Arkansas.
Dicken said there is still room at the festival for more antique dealers. There will also be an area where local artists can display their paintings, photography, carvings and etc., she said.
Food will be available from vendors and area clubs and service organizations.
Entertainment will be provided during the day by Dr. Leonard Pritchard of Columbiana with "Pritch's Pipes" traditional and historical calliope music, area country singer Dottie Aiken, the Salem Community Theatre cast of "Oliver!," variety singers Gary and Cheryl Kekel and Ernie Leger's Touch of Swing Band, a tri-state area big band that features music of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Fund-raiser: The festival is the largest annual fund-raiser for park capital improvement projects. Proceeds from this year's festival will be used for remodeling the restrooms at Firestone Stadium.
Past festival funds have been used to buy a sliding board for the park pool, refurbish tennis courts and rebuild Pavilion No. 1, an all-season, enclosed pavilion now used year around events such as family reunions, Christmas parties, wedding receptions and graduation parties.
The first festival was organized as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Harvey S. Firestone Recreational Park.
Founder and president of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Harvey S. Firestone was born in Columbiana in 1868.
In 1933, he deeded 60 acres to the village for the development of a park and recreational center.
Volunteers: Dicken credits the success of the festival over the years to the numerous volunteers who work many hours before and during the festival.
Besides assisting in planning and preparation, the volunteers are on hand the day of the festival to assist dealers and visitors. Many of the volunteers have been involved nearly every year, Dicken said.
"Aug. 4 in Firestone Park could not happen without these many people," Dicken said.
There is no admission charge for the festival but a $3 parking fee is asked for parking inside the park.
Antique dealers interested in participating in the festival may contact Dicken at city hall, (330) 482-2484. Anyone interested in displaying paintings or other fine arts may call Christal Bonsall at (330) 482-9065.

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