The Bucktown Arts Fest returns this weekend after taking a two-year break during the pandemic Credit: Provided/Sam Logan

BUCKTOWN — The annual Bucktown Arts Fest will feature nearly 200 midwestern artists alongside their creative art pieces.

The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Holstein Park, 2200 N. Oakley Ave. Alongside the 192 artists displaying and selling their work, there will be two stages for music, one at Oakley Avenue and Belden Avenue, and a jazz group stage at Lyndale Avenue and Leavitt Street, featuring artists who live in and perform around the Bucktown area.

A kids tent across from the park playground will offer art projects that kids can make and then take home. Food trucks will also be available.

Kids play with puppets at the 2019 Bucktown Arts Fest. Credit: Provided/Sam Logan

Last year’s festival drew 170 vendors. With more added this year, visitors are bound to find new artwork to admire and possibly purchase.

“When we’re doing our jurying of the artists who apply, we want to make sure that we are showcasing as many different types of art and mediums and different artists as we can,” said Cole Mariottini, committee president of the Bucktown Arts Fest. “Maybe someone’s never seen similar handmade jewelry. The idea is to make sure people can enjoy art and see art and appreciate art during a beautiful weekend in August.”

Volunteers are key to the Arts Fest’s success, as the event is all volunteer-run. Most are neighbors in the area who were aware of the event and wanted to be involved with what the festival has to offer.

“Everybody who’s involved on the committee for planning the fest, we do it for the love of the game,” Mariottini said.

Select vendors will have a “Best in Show” sign on their table. The festival has an award that’s given out each year to artists who exemplify the criteria for being a vendor at the festival.

Mariottini explained the importance of giving artists this title: “It’s something that we always try to award to the people we think are showcasing kind of a distilled vision and we want to be able to showcase them.”

The Bucktown Arts Festival is a free event and does not have a suggested donation. However, any donations made will go toward art and music programs at Holstein Park. A list of the 192 artists who will be at the festival can be found on the festival’s website.

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