stART Takes the Street

Photo by Linh Vu
Photo by Linh Vu

Park Avenue overflowed with more than 250 tents of local artists, musicians, craftsmen, farmers, and restaurants as stART on the Street kicked off its thirteenth year on Sunday, September 20. Voted the Best Annual Festival by Worcester Magazine, the event is a collaboration between dedicated local artists and art enthusiasts who want to showcase the culture of central Massachusetts.

This year’s festival did not disappoint, with the variety of goods ranging from homemade maple syrup and local produce, to quirky t-shirts, handmade jewelry, and everything in between. Local culinary tents were eager to offer crowd-pleasing samples and recipe tips, while local farmers excitedly explained where each item they sold came from. One tent with glass jewelry crafted pieces over a small flame to the amazement of many passersby.

Scattered along the street were fun, free, or low-cost activities for all ages, including hula-hooping, button making, face painting, tandem bike rides, and even 3D printing.

“It’s just a fun day, it reminds me of Faneuil Hall,” said Karen Lebel, a Worcester native attending the event. “It’s something [my daughter and I] can do together.” Lebel’s five-year-old daughter, Allison, proclaimed several times as she busily made buttons and magnets, “I made three buttons last year! I want to make five this year!”

The festival provides an opportunity for families to enjoy a variety of the culture Worcester has to offer in one place. With every step there is a new vendor, activity, or performance waiting to be enjoyed.

At the end of the street sat six food trucks that put spins on classic favorites. Say Cheese is a food truck that uniquely crafts grilled cheese sandwiches by blending cheese varieties and adding ingredients like tomatoes, bacon, and basil to the mix. Wooberry also had a truck set up, handing out cones of their flavorful frozen yogurt. The other vendors included Julian’s, The Dogfather, Plouf Plouf Gastronomie, Juniper Farms, and Dean’s Beans.

While enjoying a cheese stuffed sandwich or an over-the-top hotdog, attendees could watch flamboyant street performers and listen to the wide range of bands, like Heavy Horses, that graced Ricciuti Stage in Elm Park.

This lively event would not have been possible had it not been for the dedicated volunteers that run it every year.

“I think it’s a great festival,” said Erin Anderson, a volunteer from Sturbridge MA, “This is my first year as a volunteer but I’ve been coming every year since it started. I think that it’s really important to have this kind of thing. I thought it was my turn to give back.” Anderson said she plans to continue to volunteer in the future.

“It’s so great,” says Danielle Tesler (’19), “It’s awesome that such a big festival is right here in Clark’s backyard.”

 

The next event, stART at the Station, will be held Sunday, December 6 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Union Station in Worcester. If you missed stART on the Street, or cannot wait until next year, be sure to check out this event.