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Boone Community Network to Host Third Annual Street Festival, Art Show on Sunday

Howard Street Exchange COLOR (Print)1

By Jessica Isaacs

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Howard Street Exchange 2014

Looking for a fun way to get involved in something new to you? Make your way to downtown Boone on Sunday for the third annual Howard Street Exchange — a collaborative street festival that brings artists, nonprofits and local business together for an afternoon of fun, fellowship and information.

Hosted by the Boone Community Network, the event will take place on the west block of Howard Street from 1-6 p.m. and will feature more than 50 local vendors representing ongoing programs, projects and organizations.

“We are trying to offer an opportunity for local artists, musicians and business owners to have a space to promote the causes they represent in the town of Boone,” said BCN Festival Director Ben Loomis.

The road will be closed from Howard Street to Water Street throughout the afternoon and live music will be performed from the event’s main stage in the nearby parking lot.

Howard Street Exchange 2014

The annual juried Plein Air Paint-Off will take place at the Uptown, 182 Howard Street, and will serve as the festival hub. A group of 15 participating local artists were provided supplies from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, a festival sponsor, and given one week to paint something for the show.

“They are encouraged and challenged to paint something from sight, so they’re not just painting something from a picture, something from the Internet or a model. They’re going out somewhere, whether it’s in nature or in town, and painting a view of what they’re looking at,” Loomis said. “So what we’re getting is a bunch of current visions of what the town looks like from the eyes of different artists. That’s what is really cool to me.

“I like the blend of the novel and the familiar that we’re getting with it. The recognizable views are combined with whatever twist the local artist wants to put on it.”

Because the winner will receive a $200 prize, the juried show is also a chance for local artists to get paid for doing what they love, Loomis said, which in turn gives them a chance to spend more time doing it.

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Howard Street Exchange 2014

Loomis said the vendors are encouraged to get creative and go all out with their booths so that festivalgoers may be more inclined to get to know them.

“We want vendors to come out with a really vibrant, colorful version of their typical booth and make it a street fair in the truest sense,” he said. “We want people to be invested in the town and the community.”

The afternoon’s live music will include the following performances:

  • 1 p.m. Peas N’ Karrots
  • 2 p.m. Skylark and the Siren
  • 3 p.m. Randy Brown
  • 4 p.m. The Narcissists
  • 5 p.m. Hilltop Riot
  • 6 p.m. Mirabillia

After parties will be hosted in two locations in downtown Boone later that night with $5 suggested donations to the next street fair as admission. The Romantic Egotists will play at Murphy’s at 9 p.m. At the Local, Unaka Prong will play at 10 p.m. Free the Optimus at 11:30 p.m. Catch your favorite or hop between all three!

Check out the Howard Street Exchange on Facebook for more information.