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45th annual Norway Arts Festival kicks off
NORWAY — The Norway Arts Festival promises “something for everyone” this year.
Kicking off the three-day event is the Poets on the Porch celebration and 10th anniversary of this annual poets event.
This year's Poets on the Porch reading – fondly referred to as POP X – will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 12 at Norway Memorial Library. Admission is free.
This reading promises to be particularly interesting and fun, because festival organizers have made Poets on the Porch this year's focus figure.
Each year the Norway Arts Festival chooses a person, place, organization, or image that pulls the dimensions of the Festival together and celebrates the present and history of the Oxford Hills.
Poets on the Porch has been part of the Norway Arts Festival since 2003, and at this year's event, a dozen local poets will each give two five-minute readings. One reading will be of their own work; the second, of poems by Maine poets of the past – particularly those from the Oxford Hills.
As always, the short readings and the constant change of voices and styles are expected to make POP X a lively and not-to-be-missed event.
Though there have been special, widely-known guest poets in the past, most of the readers have been local poets from the Oxford Hills area and over the years more than 60 poets have participated.
This year, all readers will be local poets, many of whom have accepted a special poetic challenge. Western Maine Art Group, the co-sponsor of the festival, has asked the poets to write special poems about a painting called “The Marsh” by Barbara Traficonte, of Waterford. Traficonte's painting was awarded the grand prize, Best in Show, at last year's Norway Arts Festival.
Also at the reading, there will be a “smorgasbord of poems” available. Every poem that is read, plus the Marsh poems, will be laid out on a table. For a donation, visitors can get a folder that has a cover letterpress printed by Greg Shattenberg of West Paris. The folder can then be filled, smorgasbord fashion, with all the poems – or just certain ones.
Then, on Friday, the Friends of the Norway Memorial Library launch its annual Used Book Sale at the Norway Grange on Whitman Street from 4-7 p.m.
'Round about 5:30 p.m., get your dancin' shoes on, gather the whole family and mosey downtown behind Fare Share Co-op where the festivities kick-off, with singers Katey Branch and Emma Day-Branch from 5:30-6 p.m.
They will be followed by Dawson Hill and Friends from 6-7 p.m., with the featured performers Tricky Britches coming in from 7-9 p.m.
For dinner, follow your nose to where Café Nomad will be on-site with BBQ available to purchase.
VJ Foo will provide live event projection throughout the evening. With roots in graphic design, video editing, live sound and stage management, VJ Foo creates innovative experiences shared by all those who participate.
This event is free and open to the public of all ages. For further information, check the Festival website at www.norwayartsfestival.org.
Saturday, July 14, is the big day with activities for all ages and arts for many different interests. This event is free and open to the public.
Main Street will be pedestrian only from from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. so that art lovers can view and purchase from over one hundred artists’ exhibits during the 45th Annual Sidewalk Art Show.
Traffic will be diverted around Main Street and there will be designated parking areas nearby during the Festival.
Roland Simard is one of many returning artists bringing their spectacular work to Norway. Roland Simard a high school teacher and watercolor artist has developed a special media using paper pulp and color to create very fascinating and winning works of art.
Using this special process, Roland gives these works of art a special warmth, depth, and character. The landscape becomes more of a bas relief with dots of color resembling Seurat’s pointillist style making them very interesting to behold.
Live music, dance and performances can be seen from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the performance tent at the corner of Main Street and Cottage Street.
Performers include Navaeh Dance Group, OHMPAA with songs from “The Road to Eden’s Ridge,” Celebration Barn and Caroline Rose.
Children can make their own art by participating in activities in Witherell Park (across from the library) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. These will include chalk drawing, giant coloring sheets and beaded bracelets.
These and books for children and parents to read together are provided by the Norway Memorial Library.
Also for children, there will be painting at the Advertiser Democrat on the corner of Main Street and Pikes Hill.
If your interest is in food, there will be choices at Festival food vendors, Main Street restaurants, local churches, and the Norway Historical Society’s Marigold Tea Room.
Plan to spend the day in downtown Norway. There will be free parking in designated lots. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, July 15.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 45th Annual Sidewalk Art Show, Main Street, Norway
12:30 p.m. – Artist Awards, performance tent
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Performances at the performance tent, Main Street, Norway
11 a.m. – Navaeh Dancers
12 p.m. – OHMPAA sings from “The Road To Eden’s Ridge”
1 p.m. – Celebration Barn performs
2 p.m. – Caroline Rose, singer/songwriter
3 p.m. – Celebration Barn performs
8 – 11 p.m. – Live music at Tucker’s Music Pub
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Children’s activities, Norway Memorial Library at Witherall Park
8 a.m. – Norway Triathlon, Pennesseewassee Park, Route 118, Norway
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Norway Grange
Ganderia Middle School, Food and Music at the Hathaway House
Marigold Tea Room, Norway Historical Society
For further information, check the Festival website at www.norwayartsfestival.org.