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Downtown Saturdays – Arts Fest

 When: 12pm, Saturday, May 5, 2018

 Where: Broad Street

Historic Downtown Rome kicks off Downtown Rome Saturdays, a full season of free, family-friendly events. The first event in the series will be held Saturday, May 5 and encompasses visual art, live music, culinary flavors, and cultural performances including the Ellen Axson Wilson Art Walk, International Festival, Chalk Your Heart Out, singer-songwriters, and local bands. The day will end with the launch of the inaugural Rome Lantern Parade.

The Rome Lantern Parade is a glowing procession of light and art along Rome’s rivers and historic downtown. Entry into the parade is free, but a lantern is required for entry. Lanterns must be lighted by battery-operated lights; glass lanterns and fire lit lanterns are not permitted.

The parade will begin at the main stage of the block party with a lantern contest. Everyone is encouraged to bring a homemade lantern and entry into the contest is free. Groups are highly encouraged to participate with large lantern entries or lanterns made with a similar theme. Lantern contest categories include: Most Creative, Largest Lantern, Best Group Entry, and Best Rome Theme.

Several businesses and organizations in downtown are offering family-friendly lantern making workshops including AR Workshop, Farrell’s Frame & Design, Makervillage, Rome-Floyd ECO Center and Swerve. Each lantern workshop is unique; facilitated by an artist-instructor with supplies provided.
Lantern Workshop Schedule

Makervillage: Thu, April 26, 6 p.m.

Details on the Rome Lantern Parade and registration for the local workshops are available on the festival web page and at RomeGeorgia.org/LanternParade.

The Rome Area Council for the Arts (RACA) will host the Ellen Axson Wilson Art Walk as part of the street festival. A variety of artists including photographers, painters, jewelers, potters and other craft makers will be represented. “We are currently seeking entries into the 2018 festival and encourage artist to enter at the festival website or the RACA website,” says RACA Executive Director, Mandy Maloney. “It’s the perfect way to showcase the art you create or just be inspired by all the surrounding cultural creativity!” Maloney added that artist entry into the art walk is free for RACA members.

Chalk Your HeART Out hosted by Merry Maids of Rome is encouraging teams to compete in a sidewalk art chalk competition to raise funds for their local charity of choice. Teams can visit the festival website for entry information.

Festival goers can also enjoy viewing art on display from around the region with the Shakespeare Festival Art Tour. Downtown business locations will showcase artist works. Maps of the self-guided tour will be available at the festival.

Downtown retailers located throughout the street festival will host sidewalk sales and restaurants are encouraged to feature international dishes to help celebrate the day.
The live music stage will host singer-songwriters and local bands. Buskers or street musicians will be located at street corners throughout the festival area.

Festival Schedule
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Broad Street Closed to Vehicle Traffic
12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Ellen Axson Wilson Art Walk
12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Shakespeare Festival Self-Guided Art Tour
12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Street Music Performers
12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Chalk Your HeART Out Competition
5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Bennie Gray on Fourth Avenue Stage
7:30 p.m. Lantern Parade & Lantern Contest begins at Main Stage on Broad & East Fourth Avenue.

Volunteers are needed and are encouraged to register at the festival web page; it is a great way to support the community while having fun.

The street festival will encompass Broad Street from the 200 Block to the 400 Block. Broad Street will be closed to vehicle traffic from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is available for free during festival hours at the Fourth Avenue Parking Deck, Sixth Avenue Parking Deck and the Midtown Parking Lot. Parking is also available at the Third Avenue Parking Deck.

The free event is made possible thanks to the generous support of Downtown Rome business and property owners, Rome Area Council for the Arts, International Festival, and Merry Maids.
All event related registration forms, vendor forms, volunteer information and contact information, is available at the festival web page at https://downtownromega.us/saturdays/. For questions, contact the Office of Downtown Development at 706.236.4520 or email downtown2@romega.us


Broad Street