Amy Okamoto

The Norfolk Arts Center is bringing music and art to the riverfront with ’Fork Fest on Friday, August 21st. An annual event that grew out of the Hear Nebraska Good Living Tour, this year’s ’Fork Fest has been dubbed “social distancing style” to reflect precautions being taken for the community to safely gather.

’Fork Fest is an evening of live entertainment and food featuring local and regional musicians, artists and vendors.

This year’s event is being held in Johnson’s Park.

Reminiscent of the former Riverpoint Arts Festival, the location will be lined with artist and vendor booths. Musicians will be playing throughout the night, and food trucks will be on site.

With the cancelation of Oktoberfest and the Riverpoint Parade, ‘Fork Fest may be the last community event for a while, so don’t let this chance go by.

For area artists, ’Fork Fest provides an increasingly rare opportunity to showcase and sell your work. Most summer art festivals have been canceled this year. The NAC is allotting 50 spaces to artists and vendors.

If you haven’t reserved a booth yet, contact the NAC for availability. The NAC is also seeking volunteers to assist with the event.

’Fork Fest runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Musicians scheduled to appear include Pure Brown, Tucker Hill Citizen’s Brigade and The Midland Band. Favorites from NAC’s First Friday will be performing as well, including Ryan and Stacey Rabe.

Presenting sponsor for ’Fork Fest is Sparklight, which will be providing free wifi in the park during the event.

The NAC is taking steps to ensure state and local health guidelines are observed, including socially distant circles for groups, hand sanitizer and guided exits. Masks are not required but are encouraged.

For those interested in making art, the NAC continues to offer in-person art education. Upcoming classes include jewelry making for adults and “Play in a Day” for youth.

The current exhibit featuring works by Sarah Lemmon and Carolyn Albracht closes on Aug. 27. If you haven’t stopped in to view the gallery recently, you’ll have more opportunities to do so as the NAC shifts to Phase 2 of their reopening plan. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The gallery at the NAC is always free and open to the public. Accordingly, ’Fork Fest is also a free event. Please support and encourage the arts in our community by attending the events.

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