The Columbia County Art and Renaissance Festival returns this weekend at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
Children danced around the Maypole during the 2003 New Horizons Art Festival Medieval Fest. This year's festival will be held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
"The event this year is growing and I think there will be entertainment (for everyone)," said Barry Smith, the county's director of Community and Leisure Services.
The weekend festivities start at 7 p.m. Friday with a juried art show reception. Tickets to the coat-and-tie or Renaissance costume event are $10 and are available at Taylor BMW, Knology, Savannah Rapids Pavilion or by calling 868-3484. Proceeds benefit Columbia County Arts Inc.
Attendees dressed in Renaissance-era costumes will receive two free drink coupons, compliments of Columbia County Arts, said Stacie Adkins, the county's community events manager.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and continues from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
The seventh year of the festival features Renaissance-era demonstrations of sword combat, blacksmithing and candlemaking by the Society for Creative Anachronism. There also will be performances by the Harlem High School Drama Club and roaming entertainment throughout the park, Smith said.
There will be period musical performances featuring bagpipes and a gypsy band, Smith said.
As a late addition, internationally known Celtic fiddler Liz Knowles will perform from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Activities for children include a hands-on arts and crafts forum presented by the Art Factory, the Morris Museum of Art and the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Adkins said.
"If anyone has children it will be fun for them to spend the morning" at the festival, she said.
The Georgia Museum of Art will offer a workshop for adults to draw plants, flowers and other natural objects Saturday and Sunday.
Friday's reception features live Renaissance-theme entertainment including stilt walkers and belly dancers, contemporary musical entertainment and refreshments
There also will be a silent auction of items including rounds of golf at Jones Creek and Bartram Trail golf clubs, perfume and cologne packages from Macy's and tickets to Fort Discovery, Smith said.
The festival received 161 art entries utilizing a variety of media including pastels, oils, sculpture and pen and ink.
The entries this year far surpass the number of entries in preceding years, Smith said.
The jury reduced the number of entries to 75, representing 31 artists from throughout the Southeast, Adkins said.
The piece judged best-in-show will receive the grand prize of $550, Smith said.
There are $300 prizes for first place in each of the seven media categories and a people's choice award.
Two honorable mention winners will receive $125.
"This is the first year we have ever charged for the opening night festival," Adkins said, explaining that the proceeds are intended to build the festival and attract new entertainment.
Smith said that with the help of sponsors and donors, the festival remains free to the public despite rising costs.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.