If you think arts fests are only for people with those other kids—you know, the ones who have an encyclopedic knowledge of Matisse and Renoir and can sit through an entire symphony without taking a bathroom break—well, you clearly haven’t been to the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Fest. Because this one-day affair takes all of your preconceived notions about arts fests and twists them—much like the fest’s balloon artists.
The fest is a gigantic celebration of art in its many forms, from music to dance to all different visual mediums. So you can expect to see belly dancers, steel drums and marionettes performing in the same space as traditional Japanese dancers, string instruments and mimes. Plus, visuals artists like weavers, calligraphers and jewelry makers (and the more common painters and sculptors) will have their work for sale—and many of them also offer opportunities for visitors to try their hands at the techniques as well.
You can also expect plenty of activities just for kids, including a hands-on art area for the under-5 set, group dance lessons for the lead-footed and light-as-a-feather alike, henna tattoos and facepainting for the crew who don’t mind becoming art themselves, and the ever-popular balloon artists with their colorful creations.
And while you might not know exactly what you’ll see and do at the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Fest, the one thing you can bet on is that you’ll want to hang out for a while. Executive Director Maria Dripps-Paulson says families routinely plan to stay for just an hour, but end up sticking around for three to four. Good thing, then, that food is for sale, so all that art won’t make you skip your lunch.
If you go
Kaneland Community Fine Arts Fest
11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 8
Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park
This article was orginally published on April 3, 2017.