Arts in the Park draws crowds to Belfast

Two day event brings artists, artisans, music, and food to waterfront
Sun, 07/12/2015 - 10:30pm

    BELFAST — Hundreds descended on Belfast’s Heritage Park July 11 and12 to peruse the fine arts and crafts presented at the 20th annual Arts in the Park festival.

    The event, which was presented by Friends of Belfast Parks, also included a variety of food and music to accompany visitors on each day. More than 80 different artists took their works to the event, which meant an equally diverse number of artistic mediums for shoppers to choose from.

    From stone carved fish and authentic sea-glass jewelry, to chiseled wooden faces, carved by artist of the year, Ron Cowan, there was something for everyone. 

    Cowan, who also teaches art at Belfast’s Troy Howard Middle School, uses a chainsaw, chisel, and grinder to carve the smoothly detailed faces into stumps, logs and barn beams.

    Several of Cowan’s sculptures keep a constant watch of Belfast Bay, except when they disappear with the tide twice daily. His sculptures were also scattered throughout the event for the countless visitors to admire as they made their way through the many sights and sounds. 

    Saturday’s constant music was provided by the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, Aurora Jazz Project, and Leaky Boot Jug Band. On Sunday, Dave and Fran Plus, People on Earth, and Downeast Brass provided entertainment. 

    For the many who worked up an appetite while browsing wares, there were plenty of options. From The Game Loft, which offered standard cookout fare, to the Interfaith Fuel Fund, which had strawberry shortcake on hand for those struck with a sweet tooth. 

    The Good Kettle, The Uproot Pie Co., Ye Olde English Fish and Chips, and Stonefox Farm Creamery were also on hand with additional options. 

    A number of local businesses sponsor the event each year. This year’s gold sponsors included Bangor Savings Bank, City Drawers, Cultured Canines, Front Street Shipyard, Insight Video Productions and Mathews Brothers. 

    With beautiful weather on both days to keep vendors and visitors company, Belfast Bay provided the perfect backdrop for another successful year of Arts in the Park. 

    Erica Thoms can be reached at