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55th annual Artsfest returning to Harrisburg

The annual festival will be held from May 27-29 and is expected to feature 150 different artists, craftsmen and artisan groups from across the country.
Credit: WPMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Harrisburg's unofficial start to the summer is rapidly approaching as Artsfest is scheduled to return to Riverfront Park. 

The annual festival will be held from May 27-29 and is expected to feature 150 different artists, craftsmen and artisan groups from across the country. 

Handcrafted works in various categories eventgoers can expect to find include ceramics, digital, fibers, glass, jewelry, leather, metals, mixed media, sculptures, paintings, photography, printmaking and woods. 

Additionally, the Harrisburg Flea, featuring local artisans, will also return to the event with nearly 50 local vendors underneath a large tent along the festival route. 

“Come ready to shop because these artists have created truly one-of-a-kind items that will make the perfect addition to your home décor, wardrobe, and daily functions such as a coffee mug, soap, or broom,” said City of Harrisburg Special Events Manager Cortney Ranck-Cameron. “This is a great opportunity to support small businesses.”

Over 35 musical acts are expected to perform over the weekend. The UPMC stage will feature 17 local bands, dance groups and more. 

JazzFest will also be returning with 15 talented groups taking the stage. Additionally, the Wednesday Club will host a concert series featuring pianists, vocalists and more at the Art Association of Harrisburg in celebration of its 141th anniversary. 

There will also be plenty of kid-friendly activities, including face painting, balloon animals, build your own bird house, coloring stations and DIY sidewalk chalk creations. 

Free classes on canvas painting, cookie and cupcake decorating, musical instruments will also be available, as well as character visits and caricatures. 

The popular circus activity station with a mini tightwire, plate spinning, close-up magic and demonstrations on a large tightwire will be returning this year as well. 

For those interested in the food, come hungry! There will be 25 food trucks serving up a variety of unique bites and festival favorites, including stuffed waffle pockets, dumplings, cheesesteaks, crab cakes, rice balls and Farm Show Milkshakes... just to name a few. 

For adults, a beer and wine garden will be located just behind the entertainment stage. Participating local restaurants will join the festivities by offering colorful cocktail and dessert specials from May 22-29. 

“We look forward to having thousands of attendees join us for the day or entire weekend for this celebration of the arts,” said Cameron. “Harrisburg has such a vibrant arts scene including art galleries, live theatre, murals, a plethora of talented artisans and musicians, and more. We encourage you to come experience everything that the City has to offer.”

New this year is a community mosaic project where event attendees will be able to create their own clay tile under the direction of artist Jessica Gorlin Liddell of Bella Mosaic Art. She will use the created tiles to create a large mosaic that will be permanently installed at the new Chutes and Ladders Playground at Reservoir Park. The activity will be completely free. 

For a complete event schedule, list of artisans, foodie guide and more, click here

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