A big THANK YOU to the artists, musicians, vendors, sponsors, city, police, public works, businesses, volunteers, journalists, chamber and the wonderful crowds that came out and enjoyed the 15th Annual Berkley Art Bash!
A look at a busy day in downtown Berkley, including the art show, Coolidge Rocks concert, Lids 4 Kids and opening of Atomic Dawg.
Thousands of people from around the area flooded into downtown Berkley on Saturday to take in all the sights, sounds and tastes of the 11th annual Berkley Art Bash.
With more than 115 artists from Michigan on display, live music, local eateries on hand and friends and families buzzing about, Berkley came alive under the near 90-degree and sunny weather.
There were also plenty of kids' activities to check out.
The Converse family from Berkley spent the morning at the Lids 4 Kids event hosted at Berkley Fire Department. Three-year-old Kaylee and 9-year-old Heather picked out free helmets and road their bikes around the parking lot, with parents Karen and Randall close behind.
“We come every year and we love it,” Karen said. “We like to show support for small-town events and it’s great because it’s free and fun for the kids.”
She also loves it because in addition to activities like obstacle courses and moonwalks, there are safety-oriented activities like the helmet giveaways and fingerprinting for the children.
Showcased artists also reported a successful year. Lake Orion artist Dini Burny, who has been in the Art Bash all 11 years now, said it was another successful event. This year, she also appreciated the breeze that would pick up and blow through the tents as everyone tried to stay cool in the hot sun.
Berkley artist Kezzie Chudler and her business partners Angela Sharp (also her mother) and Rebecca Sammon said it was great to be part of the Berkley Art Bash.
They are the designers behind Stitch248 , which appeared at the event for the first time and said it was an all-in-all great day.
“It’s great to be able to show some of this stuff for the first time,” Sammon said.
Chudler added that they got a lot of good feedback in their first Berkley show, seeing “some familiar faces and some new faces, too.”
Over on Coolidge Highway, businesses in the Coolidge Collection also hosted some fun of their own. They had an all-day free concert for customers, sidewalk sales and appetizers.
Maureen Popkin, June Moon Furniture owner and organizer of the event said it was “so much fun” and that it was all about “people discovering Coolidge.”
The new Atomic Dawg restaurant also opened as a preview for customers to try out its menu for free. In what owner Joel Bascow called an “overwhelming” response from the community, the restaurant was open just more than two hours before it ran out of food after feeding close to 300 people from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Director April McCrumb says the idea behind the event is two-fold: To have everyone leave with a treasure in hand and a new glimpse of the city.
On Saturday, Berkley will witness a fusion of all things art and creativity.
The 11th annual Berkley Art Bash runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on 12 Mile in downtown Berkley. Show director April McCrumb said it’s a day to see Berkley in its rightful spotlight.
“It’s all about shining a light on downtown Berkley. It gives people a chance to come out, slow down below 35 mph and see what we really have offer,” said McCrumb, owner of Yellow Door Market and Catching Fireflies.
The event showcases more than 100 area artists, authors and cottage food makers, displaying local talent and artists throughout Michigan. It also draws in visitors from surrounding cities.
On average, the event brings in 8,000-10,000 people for the Saturday festivities.
McCrumb said that even though Berkley might not be known as a walkable town with lots of shops and eateries to sample, it has the potential to be seen in that image. With eight years of working with the Berkley Art Bash under her belt, she is on a mission to brand the city as such.
“We want a diverse, fun marketplace where people can come to Berkley and leave home with a few things,” she explained. “You can definitely come down with a few bucks in your pocket and leave home with something fantastic. There are, of course, higher-end things, but the mix is what makes it great.”
Adding to what McCrumb calls the “flavor” of the event, there will be everything from photography, garden art, jewelry, pottery, clothing and accessories, painting edibles and live music.
She believes much of the success of the annual event comes from the diverse collection of clever and affordable art wares.
When it comes to finding the perfect artists for the Berkley Art Bash, she said she just looks for people who exemplify creativity. That leads her to artists like Heather Sennabaum of Goodrich who creates flower accessories from discarded zippers and Berkley resident Kezzie Chudler who transforms fabric into fun and functional handbags.
“We want everyone to find a treasure while they’re there,” she added.
In addition to various works of art on display, there will also be local authors and cottage food creators mixed in. This includes the chance to sip samples of exotic teas created by Pavan Chandra of West Bloomfield and taste toffee made by Heidi Paterson of Rochester.
Local author Dana Lehman of Allenton will also be there to sell and sign copies of her award-winning children’s book, Adventures at Walnut Grove.
Fairgoers can also hang out at the stage where there will be live music playing from Motor Honey at 11 a.m., followed by Maggie McCabe performing at 1 p.m. Linda’s Dance Works will take the stage at 3 p.m. and then the local band I Love Lightening Bugs will wrap up the day with a show at 3:30 p.m.
McCrumb said the event is definitely geared toward families – even pets are allowed to join the fun.
There will be arts and crafts for the little ones, inflatables to play on, and even tours of the Berkley Fire Truck. There will also be a student area where kids ages 8-18 will be selling their art creations.
Attendees will enjoy free parking or if they decide to pedal, the Berkley Green Committee will be offering a complimentary bike valet all day.
During the Berkley Art Bash, many shops along 12 Mile and on Coolidge will be hosting sidewalk sales and offering up additional entertainment and activities throughout the day.
It’s a day that people can explore Berkley and see it as a charming town, McCrumb said. It’s also an opportunity to show off the town and all it has to offer.
“No doubt, this busy day definitely gives a great economic boost to our artists and locally owned shops in the area,” she said.
The Berkley Art Bash is hosted by the Berkley Chamber of Commerce.
Want some unique art pieces to deck out your family's home – or maybe even to wear? Well, the 11th annual Berkley Art Bash offers a special chance to find amazing artwork to express your style – from tykes to teens (and mom and dad, too!). The 115 artists at the bash range from clothing designers and jewelry and pottery artists to painters, garden artists and even authors. The fun begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. on June 9, 2012.
Best of all, this art bash is known for featuring student artists, celebrating the talents of those as young 8 years old.
"The event encourages young artists," says April McCrumb, director of the Berkley Art Bash. "Artists do not always have to be adults."
Catering to 8,000-10,000 people, different shops in the area will be hosting sidewalk sales. Of the vendors, an impressive 98 percent are from Michigan, and primarily metro Detroit.
Trying to avoid the traffic of downtown Berkley by traveling on two wheels? You don't have to worry about finding a bicycle ramp, because there will be a bike valet available!
And, just for kids, there is an arts and crafts section. Face painting and airbrush tattoos are staples of the bash that allow children to express their inner artists. Be sure to take tours of the on-site fire truck and ambulance, too. And an inflatable slide will keep little ones entertained throughout the day.
Featured Mom's Choice Awards-winning author Dana Lehman also will be here. Lehman is the author of the children's book series Adventures at Walnut Grove, which explores issues children face – such as teasing.
The entire family can sit back and take a break from shopping while enjoying live music from I Love Lightning Bugs, Maggie McCabe and Motor Honey. The young ladies of Linda's Danceworks are back to wow the crowds, too. The live entertainment starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 5:30 p.m.
If you need an energy boost, you can enjoy the kettle corn, lemonade and fudge. And organic teas and coffees will be available for purchase.
The event is free and pet friendly, so feel free to bring your dog!