Back in the day — when Gorham Island was a private residence, and Main Street had 2-way traffic — a couple of downtown merchants had an idea: Let’s put on an arts show!
38 years later, it’s still going strong.
Now called a “fine arts festival” (sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association and complete with website), the event — set for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow — has morphed into something pretty big.
It’s moved from the Main Street sidewalks to the middle of the road. It expanded to Brooks Corner. Now it’s moved to the back side of the stores: Parker Harding Plaza and the now public Gorham Island.
A handful of artists (who paid just $25 to enter) has expanded to 140 (who pay much more).
In addition to oils, watercolors and charcoal, exhibiting artists include photographers, print makers and sculptors.
There are now street performers: mimes, stilt walkers, living statues, balloon artists and face painters. There’s music, refreshments from Blue Lemon, Da Pietro and Oscar’s.
But one part of the arts show has never changed. And probably never will.
It will be hot as hell out there on the pavement.