We went to the Salem Arts Festival today at Bush's Pasture Park. I don't know if you realize how BIG Bush Park is, but it's MANY acres in the middle of Salem that houses the Willamette University stadium in one remote area, and the rest is a series of gardens, tree groves and open fields that used to belong to the Bush family.
This park has a number of local events each year, and this summer we got to go to the Arts Festival for a few hours.
In addition to booths for the local symphony, theatres and a great play area, there were NUMEROUS arts and crafts people and their beautiful displays of the various things they make and sell.
Nora, who is just beginning to use words that aren't repetitive syllables (like Mama, Dada, etc.) yelled "BALLS!" and headed right for these glass blown balls and various bugs and other yard art.
She did very well touching them gently (the artist was very kind and said they were hardy enough that she could touch them), and loved the ladybugs, snails, etc...
This picture of a glass mosaic artsy mirror was just one of many on display -- I couldn't stop looking at them all and wondered if I could possibly make one myself!
There were also a lot of funny people, including this "Parade of One" of this guy in a big old lady get-up...he was just walking around "Because it's an art fair"
and Nora just wasn't sure what to make of him, but eventually she thought he was cool...
The clown, who is a nice old man named Frank who says he's a great-grandfather, could NOT, however, win Nora over. His tricks just freaked her out and she thought nothing of hiding behind Daddy first, then Mommy, and was quite happy to get away from him.
At the end of our morning, we had lunch of Greek gyros at the Greek Orthodox Church booth, and headed over to what we discovered was the most fun for Nora -- an entire area just for kids, with the AC Gilbert house having a hat-making booth (all free) for kids to make and decorate hats, face painting, a library story book reading area (Nora enjoyed it for a few minutes before trying to make off with another kid's balloon), and then finally, the Kroc for the new Kroc House (a brand new community center here in North Salem).
Brian and I were VERY impressed with how BIG the fair was, and how great the booths were. The art was very expensive, but very beautiful. As WEIRD as we think this town is sometimes, it has a very active arts community and a lot of people who take pride in their city. It was fun!