Bridgeport Arts Fest to take place this weekend

From the city of Bridgeport’s Office of Economic and Community Development:

The City of Bridgeport is pleased to announce the second annual Bridgeport Arts Fest!

Taking place this Saturday July 16 from Noon to 6pm, the Arts Fest is a gathering of over 70 local artists, crafters and performers on historic McLevy Green in downtown Bridgeport. In addition to gallery quality fine art, you’ll find a vast array of handmade crafts, accessories, clothing, jewelry and books—all original. Stop by the Bridgeport Community Land Trust’s “Beer Garden” and help support community gardens with your drink purchase. Maltose Express, of Monroe, is hosting a local Homebrewers’ Beer Tasting. The Friends of the Bridgeport Public Library is hosting a Book Sale, City Lights Gallery, Gallery 305K, The Center for Public Art & Design, World Artists Network, Neighborhood Studios, Read’s ArtSpace and Bridgeport Arts & Cultural Council will all be there! The Bridgeport Arts Fest has a little bit of everything, and admission to ALL events is FREE.

The McLevy Stage lineup includes musical performances from Chris Cavaliere, The Backyard Committee, Talking to Walls and Nardy Boy as well as preview theatrical performances by CT Free Shakespeare (3 Musketeers) and the Bridgeport International Academy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The 2011 Bridgeport Arts Fest incorporates a host of unique and exciting companion events—all within walking distance of each other:

– The Arts Fest Bike Ride (10am) A leisurely morning ride led by local bicycle activist John Wilkins. The Ride departs from McLevy Green at 10AM, and takes riders past the Ballpark at Harbor Yard to the Seaside Park bike trail, Captain’s Cove and back to the Arts Fest.

– The Downtown Tour of Living (1pm & 3pm), led by Bridgeport Architectural Historian Charles Brilvitch, showcases downtown’s emerging residential community of new and renovated living spaces. On the Tour, you’ll visit the City Trust, Arcade, 323 Fairfield and 333 State buildings, and the historic Bijou Theatre.

– Ground Floor Gallery Bloom Show (3-7pm) at Read’s ArtSpace is this year’s annual spring/summer exhibit, featuring work from nearly 40 resident Artists and their invited guests. The Ground Floor Gallery, will have open gallery hours and guided tours of the BLOOM exhibit and common areas.

– The Urban Beautification Project & Graffiti Block Party (11am – 8pm) Gold & Main St. The City of Bridgeport is transforming this site into a pocket park, and during the Arts Fest, area artists will be installing a P.T. Barnum-inspired graffiti mural. The Block Party celebrates these improvements and lets you interact with the artists as they work. Entertainment includes DJ’s, live music and B-Boy battles. Rampage Skateparks is setting up a temporary skate park for the event.

– Lightsaber Battle (9pm) The Arts Fest will begin to clear out of McLevy Green at 6PM, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Around the corner at Baldwin Plaza, the largest Lightsaber Battle this side of Tatooine will commence. The Battle will travel from Baldwin Plaza, to McLevy Green and up Main St. to the Block Party. Look for your own lightsaber at various retail locations downtown!

– Arts Fest After-Party Show (7-11PM) Saving some of the best for last, the After-Party Show at McLevy Green is a concert that features some of the most creative and electric musical artists around. Starting at 7pm, this lineup includes Bridgeport’s own psychedelic soul trio, The Stepkids; New Haven’s “dirty soul” foursome, Fake Babies; Milford’s experimental garage goodness, Electric Bucket and Bridgeport DJ Humble Dinosaur. BYO friends and let the good times roll!

Stay up-to-date by liking the Bridgeport Arts Fest Facebook Page!

Keila Torres Ocasio