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Get ready for a weekend of arts, music at Yorkfest 2017

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

Arts, music, food, crafts and crowds of people will take over the Heritage Rail Trail once again for the 2017 Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival next weekend.

About 100 artists from across the country will descend on York City Aug. 25-27, bringing with them all types of art, from silk creations to cigar-box guitars to traditional oil paintings and many others.

Sixty of those artists will be familiar faces to those who went to the festival last year, but 40 artists will be displaying their wares in York City for the first time, according to Mary Yeaple, a planner with York City Special Events.

K'Owino Batkis, of Kenya, East Africa sits on the floor of his booth during the Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. The festival will continue tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Amanda J. Cain photo

Though 100 artists will be in town selling their works, Yeaple said the festival is  meant to “instill a love for art” in children and newcomers. 

“We want people to come down and look at art and purchase art … but we also want to expose people to art and have youngsters appreciate art,” Yeaple said.

The weekend will get underway at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, with a grand opening reception at the Creative York gallery at 10 N. Beaver St., where art and literary award winners will be named, according to the Yorkfest schedule.

Yorkfest will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

Artist booths will stretch from Philadelphia Street to Princess Street along the rail trail and North Pershing Avenue, with Codorus Creek providing the backdrop for the weekend of art. 

The Yorkfest Juried Art Exhibition will be housed at Creative York from the start of the festival through mid-September, while the festival’s Youth Art and Literary Exhibits will be on display at the York County History Center’s Agricultural & Industrial Museum throughout the weekend.

An awards ceremony for young artists will be held at the museum at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.

‘Hands-on art’: Fabric artist Polly Stetler is the festival’s featured artist, with her “Wishful Thinking” piece taking center stage on all Yorkfest promotional materials.

Local fabric artist Polly Stetler, left, was named the featured artist for YorkFest 2017. Also pictured is   York City Mayor Kim Bracey, center.  Stetler's "Wishful Thinking" artwork can be seen on the right. Jason Addy photo.

Festivalgoers can also try their hands, or feet, at creating their own “spin art.” Two stationary bikes will be set up in the first block of North Pershing Avenue to make the art, which requires two people, Yeaple said.

One person pedals the bike to power a spinning contraption while the second slowly pours paint, creating somewhat psychedelic pieces that can be taken home. 

The festival, which has been around since the 1970s, will also feature many of the time-honored Yorkfest traditions of yesteryear, with the Creative York Family Pavilion, ChalkWalk and the Historic Codorus Creek Boat Parade returning this year.

"Wishful Thinking," a textile art piece by Polly Stetler, is the art featured on the 1017 Yorkfest ads and banners.


The family pavilion will include a variety of interactive and community art projects in the courtyard outside the General Gates House and Golden Plough Tavern on West Market Street.

For ChalkWalk, artists and others will create colorful chalk murals Saturday, Aug. 26, along Market Street between Pershing Avenue and Beaver Street.

The boat parade will launch at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, from Bantz Park, before a free community jazz concert at 6 p.m.  in the Capitol Theatre at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts. 

A full schedule of events and a map of the festival can be found at www.yorkcity.org.