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.
Showcasing the city
“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.”
Art for everyone
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.
Family friendly entertainment
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.
Other features this year
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.