Main Street Festival aims to expand musical horizons

Sutton Rettig, Staff Writer

Following Daya’s performance at this past week’s welcome concert, many students might be feeling an itch of wanting to see more live music.

Whitewater’s Main Street Festival will take place Saturday, Sept.16, and will feature a variety of exotic acts, captivating an array of cultures for patrons looking to expand their musical horizons. Headliners for the festival include acts such as multidimensional musician Nazario Chickpeazio, a talent who has become a crowd favorite throughout the years via his ability to incorporate a large number of instruments into his show, paired with an original mystique to his individual performance art. Latino band Amanecer y Mas will also be serving as the premier performances to kick off the event.

Listeners will have the chance to jam out to the band’s fresh and original talents, coupled with an invigorating energy. Attendees will also have an opportunity to flex their musical muscles as a guided drum circle will commence from 1 to 2 p.m. and is open to anyone looking to model their talents with a djembe, tambourine or other forms of hand drums.

Courtney Nelson, executive director for Downtown Whitewater Inc. and one of the chief supervisors for the event, shed light on what this festival has meant to the community throughout her time in the area.

“It’s a great Saturday with a diverse range of things to do,” Nelson said. ”Artists and craftspeople will be selling their creations along Main Street mixed with hands-on art activities.”

She added that in cooperation with the Discover Whitewater Series Race, Downtown Whitewater, Inc. will offer a sign-making booth as well as free childrens’ t-shirts that can be tie-dyed on-site.

“The one piece of feedback we got last year was to increase the availability of walkable food,’ Nelson said. “For the first time, we will have food carts as well as specialty chocolates and baked goods to sustain our artists and shoppers.”

In addition to the cast of musicians and a variety of food options, the festival will also allow community members an opportunity to participate in street painting, serving as a platform to contrive their own original murals onto the pavement. Nelson elaborated on this portion of the festival and why it has remained so popular throughout the years.

“A crowd favorite is always the street painting,” Nelson said. “We have two options on this for the first time this year–artists can paint a square of their own, but also contribute to the four large group murals based on seasons of the year. We are really excited to offer a collaborative art project with the season murals and can’t wait to see our artists working together in this new way.”

 Along with street painting, one of the most noteworthy aspects of this year’s festivities is the open drum circle, which will be piloted by local music teacher, Christine Hayes. Hayes may even be providing the audience members with tips and tricks about the art of drumming thanks to tutelage she received from native people she befriended in Ghana years back.

By fusing together multicultural exhibitions, lively performances and hands-on artistic opportunities, Whitewater’s Main Street Festival is the quintessential spot for those who seek authentic and enriching cultural endeavors within walking distance of campus. This event is for all men, women and children eager to broaden their horizons and stimulate their creative virtues in a unique and original format.

“This event is a great opportunity to see the community out in full force,” Nelson said of the overall experience of the festival. “We have a lot of very talented local artists, as well as some great shopping opportunities downtown. We really recommend making a day of it. Come down and get some exercise while shopping, creating art, and getting to know your community better.”