The tents are up on the Falmouth Public Library lawn and Arts Alive 2014 is ready to begin.
The best way to think about the Falmouth festival is as a smorgasbord of the arts: a little bit of everything.
“It makes you aware of all the things you could do,” said Judith Day, one of the show’s organizers along with her husband, Roger. Both are members of ArtsFalmouth, the organization behind the festival that takes place Friday, June 20, from 7 to 9 PM; Saturday, June 21, from 10 AM to 9 PM; and Sunday, June 22, from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Performances take place under three tents on Saturday and Sunday. More than 50 local artisans, all of whom were juried in to the festival, will be selling their wares on Shore Street Extension, which will be closed to traffic on Saturday and Sunday.
The first thing Mr. Day said he’s looking forward to is seeing people swing dance to the Charlie Jamieson Trio, featuring vocalist Cerise and special guest Dennis Nobrega on saxophone at the town dance tonight from 7 to 9.
“We should have some nice dancing,” said Mr. Day, who thanked local dance instructor Ellen Brodsky for again providing the dance floor for the event. The dance floor will be set up off to the side, near the library parking lot.
Mr. Day said there is so much to see at Arts Alive that it would be easy to miss things that are not under the big tents. He suggested the public especially look out for the sidewalk drawings done in the tradition of Boston’s Sidewalk Sam.
“It’s all about art where you don’t expect it,” Ms. Day said of the sidewalk art.
Falmouth's Main Street stores sponsor drawings, which are thematically consistent with the stores’ logos. Arts educator Jeanne Stewart coordinates the drawings along with art students in the public school system.
Sketch Crawl with Erica Szuplat will take place at 11 AM on Sunday. Interested artists should meet at the Katharine Lee Bates statue on the Falmouth library lawn.
The Climate Action Team is stepping things up this year. With petitions to ban plastic bags in Falmouth, political office candidates will be on hand to talk about their environmental and climate positions. There will also be “entry level” garden plants from the Falmouth Farmers Market, information on eco-toilets, a chance to make colorful jewelry out of plastic, and “connect with the Earth” book readings with local authors and artists.
There are 12 groups lined up for Rock Fest June 21 from 5 to 9 PM. Geared toward tweens on up, the event will take place under all three tents. Rock Fest begins one hour earlier this year in order to fit in more bands. With a nod to making local a priority, Rock Fest bands include Puffy Elvis, Technicolor Motor Home, Audio Fossil, Heartbreaker, the Groovalottos, The Ryders, The Spirtual Giants, Paradise Rock, Racing Days, 93 North, Smooch Paywell Blues Band, and Outbound.
Also happening June 21 in conjunction with Arts Alive is the Strawberry Festival at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Main Street. It’s a win-win for retailers because it creates a lot of foot traffic between the two events, Ms. Day said. People walking between the two events can enjoy art by the Upper Cape Camera Club in the windows of Main Street shops along the way.
“What we’re trying to do is flood downtown Falmouth with art, music, and fun,” Mr. Day said.
And if all this art, music and dance makes you hungry, Arts Alive has that covered, too.
“It’s not just burgers” this year, said Mr. Day, who noted there will be stuffed quahogs, chicken roll-ups, smoothies, vegetarian choices, and more.
One of the things the Days say they’ve learned over their years of helping to organize events such as Arts Alive, Jazz Fest, and this year’s inaugural Trad Stroll in Woods Hole, is that audiences like their freedom of movement.
“When we’ve arranged chairs in the tents in rows the audience will stand along the perimeter but not that many of them will sit down,” Ms. Day said, “but if we set up the tents cabaret style, informally with tables and chairs that the audience can rearrange, it makes a real difference,” Ms. Day said.
“What we’d like is to get more people to participate in the arts, and to smile when they see arts. We want people to realize that Falmouth has more to the town than their beaches. That would be great and healthy for the town.”
Based on last year’s raffle addresses, a lot of people are coming from over the bridge to attend the event. “We were surprised to learn what a draw we were to people from the South Shore,” Mr. Day said. “We’re awfully lucky Falmouth and its environs has this burgeoning art scene,” Ms. Day agreed.