The arts and crafts show, one of the key activities in West Hartford’s signature festival, will be available in an online marketplace throughout the month of June.
By Ronni Newton
The show will go on in 2021.
For many who attend Celebrate! West Hartford, the juried arts & crafts show is the major draw, and when West Hartford’s signature festival was canceled for 2020 just weeks before it was to take place, organizers weren’t able to quickly pivot and find a safe way for artists to showcase their wares or for the public to shop.
This January, the announcement was made that due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the overall festival was canceled for a second year in a row. But in 2021, in addition to bringing back last year’s very successful FUNd RUN – and adding a distance challenge – the arts & crafts show will be resurrected.
“The award-winning Arts & Crafts Show is going online,” organizer Linda Geisler said. “Shoppers can rejoice! The Virtual Celebrate! West Hartford Arts & Crafts Show will be open the entire month of June.”
The juried arts & crafts show has been part of Celebrate! West Hartford for 35 years, has consistently been rated one of “Sunshine Artist’s” top 200 shows in the country, and has won many local and regional awards.
While shopping won’t be able to take place in person, the 2021 version of the arts & craft show will afford some expanded opportunities for both artists and patrons alike.
“This year, because the in-person festival is canceled due to COVID-19, artists will set up stores in a dedicated Celebrate! West Hartford online marketplace, and shopping will be available 24/7 for the entire month of June giving shoppers plenty of time to shop, shop some more, and shop again!” Geisler said. The online marketplace will be hosted by Eventeny.com, which allows purchase from various vendors in one transaction on a secure platform.
Nearly 100 artists will be part of the juried show, offering a variety of work ranging from items for the home, jewelry, accessories, pottery, glasswork, sculpture, fine arts, and photography. Many are exhibitors that will be recognized from previous in-person shows, but the virtual format also allows artists from other parts the country to participate.
Celebrate! West Hartford 2021 is grateful to the current sponsors including Kingswood Oxford School, VCA Veterinary Specialists of CT, Fleet Feet, Keating Agency Insurance, Mathnasium of West Hartford, TurleyCT, We-Ha.com, the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC and Jerry’s Artarama West Hartford.
Geisler said she would gladly welcome additional sponsors to help defray the costs of advertising, technology, give-aways, and other expenses of the 2021 event, which will be supporting the Leisure Services Scholarship Fund and The Town That Cares. Sponsors at certain levels will have their names included on event websites, t-shirts, and other promotional platforms.
The Virtual Arts & Crafts Show, an online marketplace, will be open June 1-30, 2021 by clicking here.
Registration is still ongoing for the FUNd RUNS – now a dual event that includes a virtual 5K as well as the opportunity to participate in a month-long Distance Challenge.
Both challenges will be held in June, and participants can do either, or both. The 5K can be run anywhere, and anytime between June 4-13. The Distance Challenge lasts from June 1-30, and miles logged any time during those days, in any location, will count.
The entrance fee for each event is $20, and will once again support both the Town That Cares Fund – which since the COVID-19 pandemic has been more in demand than ever operating West Hartford’s Food Panty and assisting needy residents with energy bills and other services, as well as the Leisure Services Scholarship Fund, which provides children in need with funds to attend summer and vacation camp, life-saving swimming lessons, and other enrichment activities.
A commemorative t-shirt will be given to each participant. As has been the tradition since 2015, the design has been created by a West Hartford Public Schools student. This year, Conard student Julia Racz was selected as the winner of the design contest.
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