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Shelby Township

Published July 30, 2014

Shelby art fair to feature new treats

» click to enlarge «
People browse rows of artists’ booths at last year’s Shelby Township Art Fair. The event is coming once again to the township municipal grounds Aug. 9-10.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — For two days every year, the Shelby Township Art Fair brings a vibrant variety of sights, sounds and smells to the township municipal grounds.

This year, the 31st annual event will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 9 and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 10. Nearly 80 artists will participate, along with about 26 vendors in the popular Michigan-made product section, now in its third year.

Art fair coordinator Pam Reinhardt said new aspects of the fair this year include a petting zoo, some new bands to perform at the band shell and a handful of new Michigan-made products, including custom T-shirts, baked goods, repurposed items created from recyclables and tiki torches.

“In the food area this year, we added Lucky Lunch — a food truck,” Reinhardt said. “It’s kind of a more trendy thing, and we thought it would be cool to add that in.”

Returning to the art festival will be roaming performers from the Detroit Flyhouse Circus, an animal exhibit from the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, a live chainsaw art demonstration and auction, tours of the historical Andrews Schoolhouse Museum, the Fire Department’s bounce house, the Police Department’s fingerprinting activity and Ann Arbor chalk artist David Zinn.

Reinhardt said Zinn is known for sketching cartoon characters in unexpected places. An area of the road in front of the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department will be blocked off for workshops in which he will teach kids the basics of chalk art.

“We’re trying to get everybody involved,” Reinhardt said. “It seems the more hands-on you can get people with the art, the more the creative juices get flowing, and it’s not just about looking to see what everybody else has done, but doing something yourself, as well.”

She added that she is hoping for even more fairgoers this year than the estimated 15,000 people last year. However, much of an art fair’s success, she said, is weather-dependent.

“We’re definitely family-oriented, and we try to have something for everyone, but you see every ethnicity, you see every kind of background imaginable, and that’s kind of part of the fun is it draws out a little bit of everybody,” Reinhardt said.

Barbara Gasparski, a watercolor artist and chair of the art fair, said she would be out at the event with her group, the Shelby Township Fine Art Group.

“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” Gasparski said. “It’s a good source of fun and activity for the family. All the artists are juried in, and even the Michigan-made (vendors) are juried in.”

The municipal grounds are located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., just south of 24 Mile Road.

Parking and entry are free, and a free shuttle will be available to transport people between the grounds and Shelby Township Community Center, located at 51670 Van Dyke Ave., just north of 23 Mile Road.

For more information about the Shelby Township Art Fair, visit or call (586) 731-0300.

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