Thursday, May 1, 2014

Starting May With The Arts

Today is May 1st. May Day started as a Celtic holiday, but spread through western Europe, and eventually much of the Northern hemisphere--a day when everyone took time off from their farming and other work to sing, play instruments, dance, and act out short plays. In other words, a day not only to welcome the coming of warm weather, but to enjoy the arts.

So it's appropriate that Norristown will celebrate our 5th annual Arts Hill Festival this Saturday on Dekalb Street between Lafayette and Airy Sts, from 10 am to 5 pm.

I've heard that the festival will have A LOT of music this year. You know how sometimes you hear about a new performer or band playing locally and you're not sure you want to pay the admission or cover charge to go hear them, in case you don't like them. Well, Saturday, you can hear a variety of groups for FREE. Jazz, blues, classical, rock, reggae, country, funk, rap, hip-hop, folk, childrens' music, you name it.

Can't get enough of our great live theaters? Or maybe you've never tried one of their plays? Saturday you'll be able to view our own and other local theater groups in action, again for FREE. You might even see some drama or comedy in the middle of the street. And a few magicians.

Usually you have to go to Philly to see dance performances. We do have several local dance companies, but unlike music in town, you can't go out and see dance each weekend. Saturday these troupes come to Norristown to perform all kinds of dancing.

The Arts Hill Festival is advertising film as well. When was the last time you saw a good film in Norristown? (We really do need a return to summer film nights.)

We've had a renaissance in town of spoken word performances this past year, so it makes sense that you'll find some of our local poets on the Saturday's schedule.

Besides that, the festival will have food vendors. Food is definitely an art in Norristown. I'd go for Willis Brothers Barbecue alone, but this year I hear there will be all sorts of cultural foods offered, plus the usual festival fare.

Other arts to be represented--face painting, art jewelry, painters, sculptors, and other craft vendors. Plus a kids area with activities for children.

The festival will go on, rain or shine. Right now there's only a slight chance of rain in the afternoon, and the high will be around 70 F. Take some time off and come downtown for a few hours to enjoy the arts. Find out what Arts Hill has to offer our community and how it can be a big part of the revitalization of our town.

Traditionally, May Day celebrations kicked off the summer season. Appropriately, our Arts Hill Festival kicks off Norristown's summer season--which means more festivals to come!  

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