Chambersburg hosts 'Taste of the Arts'

May 06, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • The Collaters, a Hagerstown-based indie-rock band, are scheduled to perform at the "Taste of the Arts," Friday, May 7, in downtown Chambersburg, Pa. Musicians, artists and other performers will be staged at businesses and along Main Street during the festival.
Submitted photo,

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Friday, artists and business owners hope people will flood Main Street Chambersburg to get a "Taste of the Arts."

Organized by the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg and the Council for the Arts, "Taste of the Arts" is a free street festival along the borough's Main Street, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 7.

Organizers said attendees can expect typical downtown-centric festival fare - local performers, local eats, locally made goods to buy and stuff for kids to do.

But new this year, organizers said, is a free Latin dance lesson and performance from salsa instructor Jose Ricardo. His performance comes after a musical performance by Hagerstown-based indie-rock band, The Collaters, who will perform at the borough's square from 5 to 7 p.m.

Artist and event co-organizer Anne Finucane said 20 artists will sell goods and demonstrate their talents.

"Nearly half of them are new," said Finucane, who is the coordinator of the Council for the Arts' Kaleidoscope Gallery and Gifts.


Sarah Wilson, program coordinator, said other arts-council related events include a book signing with Harriett Diller, author of "Confirming Kershaw."

Finucane said this sort of street fair-style exposure is good for artists because it gives them a venue to sell their work.

It also gives the artists face time with consumers, which makes the work more relatable - and sellable.

"It's not so easy to get your work in a shop or in a gallery," Finucane said.

As much as the event is a street fest, "Taste of the Arts" is also part of an ongoing campaign to lure consumers to downtown vendors, said Tina Flohr, membership and event coordinator for the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg.

The event kicks off the borough's monthly First Friday series.

"Anything to help downtown businesses," Flohr said.

Downtown restaurants and other businesses will offer free food samples and specials, taking advantage of the crowds expected to attend. Flohr said that in conjunction with "Taste of the Arts," The Capitol Theatre is hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration in its Wood Center from 8 to 11 p.m.

To explain why so much emphasis is placed on luring people downtown, Paul Cullinane, president of Downtown Chambersburg Inc., and vice-president of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, suggested thinking of a municipality's downtown in the same way you would think of a finger print.

"The downtown really becomes the urban center or the identity of a community," Cullinane said.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Taste of the Arts," street festival and artwalk presented by Chambersburg Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg and the Council for the Arts

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 7

WHERE: Downtown Chambersburg, Pa., along Main Street from King Street to Queen Street.

COST: Free admission

MORE: Downtown streets will remain open for the event. For more information, call the Council for the Arts, 717-264-6883, or call the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg, 717-261-0072.

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