“The best weekend in town! To our family, there’s no event that conveys the sense of community more than our Cherokee Triangle Art Fair,” says Louisville’s Gary Hibbeln of the two day event. “It’s where we see our friends, discover great art and get to meet fascinating artists. To me, it’s a block party, an art fair and a reunion, all rolled into one annual tradition,” continues Hibbeln. “The entire Louisville community hits the streets to walk the neighborhood; it’s my very favorite time of the year!”
The 41st annual Cherokee Triangle Art Fair is to be held Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. It’s the weekend before the Kentucky Derby. The Art Fair is free and open to the public.
The Cherokee Triangle Art Fair is a juried fair with more than 220 artists’ booths. The outdoor event is in Louisville’s historic Cherokee Triangle neighborhood on tree-lined Cherokee Parkway between Willow Avenue and Cherokee Road adjacent to the Gen. John Breckinridge Castleman statue. Activities begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the Children’s Parade, which lines up on Cherokee Road at Longest Avenue.
“I enjoy the people watching as much as the art,” says designer Don Harris, a neighborhood resident who celebrates the Art Fair with a wine and cheese house party. “My guests and I walk the event several times a day,” continues Harris. “We don’t want to miss any aspect. We delight in meeting the new artists and greeting the regulars, and then we party on as night falls. It’s the perfect kickoff for spring!”
The Art Fair includes dozens of veteran exhibitors as well as new artists from the Louisville area, from Kentucky, and from out of state. Art Fair patrons can view and purchase original art and often meet and talk with the artists. Fairgoers also enjoy food, drink, entertainment and music. On Saturday evening, music and food service will continue until 8 p.m. Then, it’s time to rest up for Sunday’s activities.
There’s a popular children’s activities area with a variety of fun events. Other attractions of the fair include the plant booth with a lush variety of plants and herbs, and there’s a wide variety of festive food and drink available at numerous booths.
New this year at the Art Fair is free valet parking for bicycles: No need to walk bikes through the crowd. Bicycling for Louisville, a nonprofit advocacy group promoting bicycles for transportation, bicyclingforlouisville[dot]org, will have volunteers to keep bikes safe and secure enabling riders to meander, hands free, through the exhibitor areas.
The annual Cherokee Triangle Art Fair is the major fundraiser for Louisville’s Cherokee Triangle Association, and the event’s proceeds are returned to the community and neighborhood in numerous ways. Annually, proceeds from the fair, along with other revenue sources, help fund events such as the annual free summer concerts in Willow Park.
In an Art Fair-related event, on Friday evening, April 27, the Legal Aid Society will hold its ninth annual Art Fair preview party fundraiser, the “Brush, Bottle, and Barrel of the Bluegrass,” at Louisville Collegiate School from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Collegiate’s Mary Rodes Lannert Athletic Center. Fifteen artists participating in the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair will display and sell selected art at this preview party. In 2011, over 550 people attended and raised more than $45,000 for Legal Aid.
The adjunct event also features tastings of Kentucky wines, bourbons, and beers, a silent auction, and food. Collegiate is located at 2427 Glenmary Avenue, near Grinstead Drive, in Louisville. Tickets are $75 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, visit laslou[dot]org, or call (502) 584-1254. Free valet parking is available. The event is wheelchair accessible.
Lending an added dimension of “green” to the springtime Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, there is a major emphasis on recycling. Workers recycle glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, and some aluminum, typically constituting two heaping truckloads of materials.
For the safety of all patrons, the Art Fair is a pet-free zone. Attendees are asked to leave their pets at home. Art fair organizers also request there be no skateboards, skates, or rollerblades, and that cyclists walk their bikes (or park them free) within the Art Fair. Close-in parking for the handicapped is available.
Setup for the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair begins in early morning on Friday, April 27, and the streets of the Art Fair and immediate surrounding area will be closed to through traffic Friday morning. Following the two-day Art Fair, streets will reopen to traffic at 8 p.m. Sunday evening after shutdown and cleanup.
For directions to the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair or other fair information, please check the Cherokee Triangle Association web site: cherokeetriangle[dot]org.
Additionally, the “Cherokee Triangle Art Fair” page on the popular Facebook service on the Internet has dozens of photos from last year’s event.
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