Artists, musicians converge for festival

Amy Okamoto

Community is the driving force behind Norfolk’s upcoming ’Fork Fest. Spearheaded by the Norfolk Arts Center, ’Fork Fest brings together area artists, musicians and restaurants for an event that celebrates our creative community. This is the fourth year for the festival, which will be held on Aug. 23 in Johnson Park.

What makes ’Fork Fest different from other towns’ street dances and recognition days is the focus on our community’s creativity. Art, music and culinary arts are the heart of the event. Northeast Nebraska has a strong artistic community that rivals that of the metro area. ’Fork Fest shines a welcoming light on it while bringing the entire community together.

A variety of events are scheduled throughout the evening, including the popular food truck rumble, live music, an artist and vendor sidewalk sale and an antique bicycle show. A cardboard boat competition and beer garden are also on the docket.

The vendor sidewalk sale is new to this year’s 'Fork Fest. Local artists and craftsmen, along with downtown boutiques, will be showcasing their work in a variety of mediums. Find something uniquely Norfolk in origin while supporting the arts. Expect to discover both traditional and eclectic pieces.

Area artists include Anthony Thompson and Sage Allen. Both participated in the recent “Arts on the Avenue” events and welcome another opportunity to share their work with the public.

Thompson is inspired by the Elkhorn River and the beauty of the area. His work includes impressionistic oil paintings, photography and abstract mixed media. He said he feels the fest is the “type of event that Norfolk needs.” He loves that the festival “brings the community together around music, the arts and good grub,” he said.

Artist Sage Allen said she is excited to be able to show and sell her work in the community she grew up in.

Allen will be selling risograph prints, enamel pins and sticker sheets. Risograph is a type of printing process involving sending the image through the printer several times for each color. Her subject matter includes birds and geometric designs.

The live music includes two area bands, Baker Explosion and Tucker Hill Citizen’s Brigade. Three other Nebraska bands will round up the lineup.

Entry is free. Everyone is welcome to listen to bands and peruse the artist booths and bicycle show. Some activities require tickets.

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For more information, or to purchase food truck tickets, contact the Norfolk Arts Center at 402-371-7199.

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