MUNCIE, Ind. – ArtsWalk, a fall event bringing together Muncie businesses, local artists and the downtown community, will return next week. While things are still different due to COVID-19, some old favorites are returning in October.
Scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 7, the annual event – an expanded version of the monthly walk on First Thursday in the downtown Muncie gallery – will feature pumpkin decorations, food trucks and vendors. of art.
Cheryl Crowder, director of events for the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, told The Star Press that although last year’s event lacked big hits like the Soup Crawl and Muncie Yard Sale for Art (YART) due to the pandemic, it was always well received.
This year’s lineup is still without Soup Crawl and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, but Crowder expects attendance to be up from last year.
“A lot of other stuff is going on,” Crowder said. “So it will be a little different, but we’re on our way home.”
Because COVID-19 continues to pose a threat, masks and social distancing will always be encouraged, and hand sanitizer will be available. Here’s what to expect for ArtsWalk 2021:
A theme of gratitude throughout
After more than a year of COVID-19 and everything it has brought, from illness to blockages and social distancing, this year’s theme for ArtsWalk will be gratitude.
The theme will be fully on display with the ‘Chalk it Up to Thankfulness’ event, where 10 chalk artists will perform their depiction of gratitude on the sidewalks and parking lots downtown.
“I’m very interested to see this,” Crowder. “(It’s about being) just grateful that we’ve been through what we’ve been through and the things we’re grateful for.”
Sponsored by the Muncie and Delaware County Community Foundation, the chalk event will take place in the parking lot of the Old National Bank at the corner of Charles and Walnut streets.
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Although the Muncie Symphony Orchestra is not present at this year’s event, there will still be plenty of musical performances throughout the evening.
Several live music groups will perform at Canan Commons, including the Jacob Smith Ensemble, Ball State University Studio Jazz, Muncie Ballet Studio and AHB Jazz Combo. The Spirit of Muncie Marching Band, which won first place at this year’s Indiana State Fair Band Day competition, will roam the streets of downtown and perform pop-up concerts from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“They’re just going to wander downtown and they’ll stop at one place, they’ll do a song and then they’ll wander somewhere else,” Crowder said.
There is still time to participate in the pumpkin carving competition
A main attraction in recent years, the Pumpkin Trail and Glow will return at ArtsWalk 2021, and there is still plenty of time to register.
The pumpkin carving competition has three different age groups for participants, including 8-13 year olds, 14-17 year old and 18 and over. Towards the end of the evening, participants can vote for their favorite.
A cash prize of $ 100 will be awarded for “Best Overall Design” in each age group, with
winners will be announced on Facebook by noon the following day.
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According to the DWNTWN website, there are a few rules for the contest, including that the pumpkins must be fully carved and assembled offsite, and they must be self-contained and wind resistant. Battery operated light is suggested, and paint and craft upgrades are permitted.
For those too young to participate, a pumpkin decoration booth will be available.
Crowder said registration for the contest must be completed by October 4. The forms and a full list of rules can be found at centrevillemuncie.org/pumpkinglow.
YART returns in person
From paintings to jewelry, over 100 local artists typically participate in Muncie Yard Sale for Art (YART), connecting community members to unique and affordable works of art.
Due to COVID-19, YART has moved to a virtual platform during ArtsWalk 2020, but this year artists will set up their booths downtown again.
According to the YART Facebook page, all works of art will cost less than $ 40, with artists responsible for their own exhibitions and sales. Social distancing will be practiced, tables being distributed accordingly.
Fall 2021 Muncie YART will feature a wide variety of handmade jewelry; photography; Clothes; oil, acrylic and watercolor paints; molten glass, pottery and ceramics; knitwear; candles; toys; drawings; sculptures; torch glass; stuffed animals; digital art; mosaics and even living art.
Visit facebook.com/Muncie-YART-156725934394407 for more information.
Soup Crawl still absent
One event that ArtsWalk 2021 will surely be missing is the Soup Crawl, which will be out for a second year.
Typically, Soup Crawl is run in conjunction with ArtsWalk, allowing restaurants and organizations to serve soup samples in a competition held throughout downtown Muncie. In recent years, the event has benefited the Big Idea program of the Second Harvest Food Bank. In 2019, $ 23,192 was raised for the pantry program.
The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19, and while that could still be a reason for its absence this year, Crowder said its main organizer has also retired. However, she hopes to see him return in the future.
“It’s a great fundraiser,” Crowder said. “I would expect us to see him again.”
For those who wish to donate to Second Harvest, donations can still be made at curehunger.org.
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Participants can still visit many downtown businesses and restaurants during the evening. For many of them, COVID-19 has brought financial challenges, and ArtsWalk is a great way to show support, Crowder said.
“I think every time you invite people downtown over to have a good time, they find out about things they never knew existed before,” Crowder said. “ArtsWalk does a really good job of making this happen.”
Registration to be a seller on ArtsWalk is due October 4th. Parking will be available in the Horizon Convention Center parking lot located adjacent to the center and the Courtyard Marriott. Enter west of the hotel on Liberty Street or south of the roundabout on Victor Street.
For more information on ArtsWalk, visit centre-villemuncie.org/artswalk.
Charlotte Stefanski is a reporter for The Star Press. Contact her at 765-283-5543, [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @CharStefanski.