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Not The Same Ol’ Fine Arts Festival

Tons of people — Westporters and outlanders — love the Westport Fine Arts Festival.

Party-poopers complain about the heat.

The Westport Downtown Merchants Association heard you. This Saturday’s event (July 21) runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday hours are still 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

A small scene from last year’s Arts Festival.

Next excuse?

“It’s always the same stuff.”

Bunnies (and a carrot) by the banks of the Saugatuck.

Hah! This weekend — for the 1st time in 39 years — there are new categories: digital art, wood, jewelry, glass, ceramics and fiber.

So you not only have the usual art show — 140 booths featuring original drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and watercolor — but you can take care of all your fiber needs too.

Take that, New York street fairs!

Several years ago, the Downtown Merchants moved Westport’s show from an actual street (Main) to a parking lot (Parker Harding) and island (Gorham). The move was controversial — some store owners thought they lost business — but we’ve still got “street” performers (everyone’s talking about the mime).

Children’s activities include a balloon artist and face painter.

Art — or a human being? You decide.

Music ranges from a steel band, jazz and local hotshot Dylan Connor to a sneak preview of the Staples Players’ summer production “Willy Wonka, the Musical.”

Refreshments are provided by Blue Lemon, Oscar’s Du Soleil Catering, Rita’s Italian Ice, Everybody Scream Ice Cream, and J&D Kettle Corn.

There’s also ice cold beer — and, new this year, wine.

If wine doesn’t say “Westport Downtown Arts Festival” — well, every party has its pooper.

(Added bonus: The Westport Library‘s annual book sale takes places a few yards away. The highest-priced item ever is on sale — a signed Andy Warhol volume, for $1,000 — but most books, CDs, etc. are $1 to $5. )

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