Tri-Village News

Not so lazy: Summer arts fest celebrates its 20th year

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Summer's laziest event has somehow found the energy to entertain Grandview residents for two decades.

The Lazy Daze of Summer Festival will mark its 20th year July 27.

The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the lawn and streets surrounding the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

"It's amazing that it's been 20 years," said Jeri Diehl Cusack, who is serving as co-chairwoman of the festival with Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Arts Council President Ruthanne James.

"Lazy Daze fills a niche like no other event in the Grandview area," Cusack said. "It's not a huge festival. The event has a good reputation because we always try to treat our craft exhibitors well."

The success of the festival has been a true collaborative effort among the city, library and the arts council, which has coordinated Lazy Daze for the past several years, she said.

About 55 arts and crafts exhibitors from across Ohio and surrounding states have been selected by a jury to participate in this year's festival.

"We always look to have a good mix of artists working in a variety of arts and crafts," Cusack said.

This year's roster of exhibitors includes last year's Best of Show winner, Grandview resident Michael Hughes, who creates pens and other gift items using a lathe.

Other returning exhibitors include honorable mentions Big City Skylines, owned by Monte Ellison of Indianapolis; Reynoldsburg resident Amy Gilmore, who sells her handmade purses, tote bags, walker bags, wheelchair bags and other accessories; Dublin resident Sharon Huber, who creates craft items "inspired by nature"; and Kerrie Rusnak of Orwell, who owns Kreative Fibers.

Entertainment, including performers from Grandview Parks and Recreation programs, will be offered throughout the day.

The entertainment lineup is posted on the library's website, ghpl.org. The festival program also will be posted about a week in advance on the library's website.

"We're going paperless and green this year," Cusack said. "It's a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly to put the program online rather than print thousands of copies."

The children's activities area will be coordinated for the first time by the Ohio Craft Museum, she said.

The festival also will feature food, a community showcase area and a Friends of the Library book sale.

"This year, the book sale will be held indoors in the library," James said. "It will give people a chance to get in out of the heat, and I'm sure it will bring a lot of first-time visitors to our wonderful library."

Children's arts activities will be held from around 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., she said.

The festival's annual awards, including Best of Show, People's Choice and honorable mention, will be announced at 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include a special 20th-anniversary recognition ceremony and the introduction of the arts council's 2013 scholarship recipients, Maureen Flanagan and Corey Delpha.

"We were so excited this year to be able to present two $1,000 scholarships," James said. "We wouldn't be able to present these scholarships without the support of the community and the Grandview business community."

A scholarship is awarded each year to a Grandview student who plans to major in an arts-related field in college. Flanagan will study graphic design at Ohio State University and Delpha will attend the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the arts council as well as the city of Grandview Heights and the library.

Volunteers are needed to help exhibitors set up and pack up and to staff booths throughout the day, Cusack said.

Those interested in volunteering may email the arts council at ghmcartscouncil@ gmail.com.

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