Bringing culture to a small town

Festival: Hundreds attend the 41st annual Havre de Grace art show, which continues today.

August 22, 2004|By Patrick Tyler | Patrick Tyler,SUN STAFF

Despite cloudy skies and occasional rains, the opening of the 41st annual Havre de Grace art show drew hundreds of people to Tydings Memorial Park yesterday.

The Soroptimist International of Havre de Grace sponsored the show, which featured numerous artists and performers.

"Havre de Grace has always been a small town with big events," said Christine Mayo, the president of the local Soroptimist chapter. "It is important for us to bring people who don't know Havre de Grace has so much culture to town."

Mayo said that the festival usually draws about 30,000 visitors to see nearly 200 vendors.

Soroptimist is derived from the Latin words soror (sister) and optima (best). The association uses money raised from the annual event to sponsor scholarships and give back to the community, Mayo said.

In the aftermath of recent flooding, such as on July 12, Mayo said she feels it's important to keep tourists coming to the bayside town.

Yesterday, the park was covered with white tents housing painters, woodworkers, potters and other artists.

Saturday was Sarah Holmes' first visit to Havre de Grace.

Holmes, a Pennsylvania resident and a Kenyan who immigrated to the United States in 1996, sold traditional African art including jugs made from gourds with animal scenes carved into them along with African animal pictures and jewelry.

Fran Koch, a Delaware artist who paints pictures on feathers, was marking her fifth year at the show.

Havre de Grace, she said, has always been good to her as an artist.

"There is a lot of premium quality art work here," she said.

Others marked a decades-long association with the show.

Joyce Carroll of Havre de Grace said that she has attended every art show since the first one in 1963.

"The show remains a lot of fun," Carroll said. "You get to see art and friends every year."

The art show continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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