This weekend marks the return of the Arts Council of Westerville's Westival event, and organizers are hoping good weather and added exposure can continue to grow its crowds.

Westival was once the Westerville Community Band and Arts Festival, but it was rebranded with a catchier name and a broader focus last year to appeal to a wider audience.

Nine community concert bands are scheduled to appear at this year's festival, coming from Circleville, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Worthington, Lancaster, Dublin and Westerville.

John Cameron, president of the arts council, said this year's festival also will have multiple music groups playing between the concert bands while setup happens, eliminating the long lulls while groups move on and off the stage.

The festival also boasts a broader range of arts activities, with activities for children and adults in hopes of integrating the art into the music.

"We're really trying to build the art side of the festival," Cameron said.

The centerpiece of the art side of Westival will be an 8-foot tall "art tree" painted on a panel that children and families will decorate with customized leaves, butterflies and birds. The work will be covered in lacquer and preserved at the end of the festival.

Cameron said the arts council plans to use it for other events and take it throughout the city.

"It's going to become kind of a fixture for us," he said.

Last year, Cameron said attendance wasn't quite what organizers hoped due to a "tremendous thunderstorm" that rolled through the area in the middle of the day. But this year, he hopes for better weather and that a renewed focus on marketing and social media can bring more guests.

"We're learning more about how important it is to let people know about the festival," he said. "So we've been a lot more active in that area."

While 400 to 500 guests is an optimistic estimate, Cameron said he hopes it's shooting too low and the Arts Council is surprised by even more.

"Things seem to be growing, and we keep adding things on," he said.

Food will be provided through trucks such as Sock Hop Soda Shop, Schmidt's Sausage Haus, Sobramesa Street Kitchen and Blue Chew.

Westival runs from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at the Alum Creek Park North Amphitheater, 221 W. Main St. Admission is free.

For more information, visit artscouncilofwesterville.com.

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