Plein Air Art Festival bringing variety to downtown Tonganoxie this week
Art in various forms will fill downtown Tonganoxie this week with this year’s edition of the Plein Air Art Festival.
The festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Much of the festivities will be in the downtown area, with fine art vendors, street performers, food trucks, glass-blowing demonstrations, plein air artists, youth art activities and a visit from members of the Crossroads Mazda Miata Club highlighting the event. There also will be street performers at the festival, with most activities taking place Saturday.
This marks the second year for the art festival, as organizers canceled the event in 2020 during earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of planning and community support has gone into bringing this event to Tonganoxie,” said Keyta Kelly, one of the event’s organizers. “Fingers crossed the weather cooperates!”
Street performers will have shows starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fourth and Bury streets. There will be some breaks during that time, but visitors can watch a new show starting every 30 minutes for different morning and afternoon sessions.
No Bow Tie will perform at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and then Martika Daniels is on at 11:30 a.m. No Bow Tie performs a final time at 12:30 p.m. and then Martika Daniels is on for a second time at 1:30 p.m. Then it’s time for August Gilbreath at 2:30 p.m. and Martika Daniels a final time at 3:30 p.m. August Gilbreath then finishes out the street performances at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
No Bow Tie takes classical musical and “infuses them with attitudes of pure rebellion,” according to the festival’s event guide. Martika Daniels, meanwhile, offers an array of sideshow entertainment, from fire eating and walking on glass to balancing on sharpened swords. August Gilbreath has become a regular at comedy clubs, festivals and fairs.
Acoustic musicians will play Saturday at the 1866 restaurant’s patio and beer garden, while More Than Lemons Hot Glass Shop will be doing glassblowing demonstrations at its booth Saturday. A drink truck will be on the 1866 patio.
Food trucks slated for Saturday are Vee’s BBQ, Jadabay’s, Sweet Delites and Paletas Royale. Jadabay’s has a wide variety of food choices, while Sweet Delites puts a twist on macaroni and cheese, while also featuring cinnamon rolls. Paletas Royale features popsicles and ice cream bars.
As for the plein air art, there will be nearly 20 artists competing for $3,100 in prizes.
Paint My Place artwork will take place Friday through Sunday. Watch artists create their masterpieces from 8:30 a.m.-noon Friday at Skeet Real Estate, 519 E. Fourth St. and Kane Family Farm, 17791 Chieftain Road. From 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, artists will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1100 West St. and First State Bank and Trust, 1525 E. U.S. Highway 24-40. And from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, artists will be at Lynch Farm, 20163 219th St.
Artists’ work can be viewed during the festival at the 304 Venue, 304 E. Fourth St.