(Orange, Texas)

March 22, 2012

Art in the Park

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader


Celebrate spring with a trip to the park.

The 10th annual Art in the Park event will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, March 24, at Stark Park, located right off Green Avenue in downtown Orange. The event is free and suitable for the whole family with loads of children’s activities.

The area around Stark Park is designed to accommodate 165 spaces for vendors and artists, some of which occupy two or three spaces. However, this year’s Art in the Park is on verge on distributing all vendors spots and resorting to adding more.

“We’re down to the last three spaces,” said Darline Zavada, director of the City of Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’ve had a lot of last minute additions with calls on Monday and Tuesday, and it’s really shaping up to be a great event this year.

“We will find space for (vendors), even if it’s on the lawn of City Hall,” Zavada added. “We’re just looking to have the best Art in the Park ever and the weather should be fantastic.”

Dozens of artists from across the area, the state and outside of Texas, including Louisiana and one from Oklahoma City, Okla., will be setting up booths and either displaying or selling painting, sculptures, photographs, carvings, jewelry, metal-work and more.

Locally renowned artist C. Delle Bates is a regular fixture at Art in the Park and will be so again this year.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Bates said. “It’s a good time for everybody. I like being out there to socialize with friends I haven’t seen in some time and fellow artists who come in town for it.”

Bates has participated in every Art in the Park event and believes the event has become a rather popular attraction the past few years.

“It really is a nice thing for the city and the community,” Bates added. “It’s turned out every bit as nice as they had hoped it would ever be.

“I enjoy being part of Art in the Park because it allows me to show my art and get my website out there to the public,” he explained. “Plus, I’ve been able to sell my fair share the past couple of years and that’s always nice.”

Each year, more and more families attend Art in the Park and organizers are always attempting to keep the event as family-friendly as possible. This year’s children’s activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, face-painting, bounce houses and various crafts.

Live music has also become a big portion of Art in the Park, and this year’s lineup of musicians is arguably the best ever. Participants include Dixieland Revue, Lone Star Pipe Band, Traveling Roads, Doug Childress and Gone to Texas, the Joe Soliz Band, the Orange Community Band, and, for the finale, a big street dance from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday, featuring the one and only Ezra Charles.

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