NOTE! Free Shuttle from the Clinton Ferry Dock
The 39th Annual Choochokam Arts Festival takes over the streets of otherwise bucolic, Langley-by-the-Sea on Whidbey Island—from 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 13—for two fun-filled days of art, eats and music. The festival is free and open to the public with a free shuttle provided by Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle from the Clinton Ferry dock for those wishing to leave their vehicles in Mukilteo.
Festival-goers can have a more enhanced experience with the Mixby digital platform provided by Whidbey Telecom. The app provides real-time location-based monitoring of festival activities. Mixby is available for iPhone and Android in the App Store. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mixby/id869109229?mt=8.
ART and EATS
More than 75 regional artisans and craftspeople will line First and Anthes Streets with a wide array of artistic disciplines including woodworking, painting, printmaking, pottery, ceramics, metal work, fiber art, jewelry, glass and sculpture. Exhibitor booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The culinary arts are celebrated in the food court with a variety of regional cuisines including fest favorites—Mini Donuts and Kettle Corn—returning again this year. To wash down your favorite regional fare, visit the Beer and Wine Garden presented by the Langley Chamber of Commerce, featuring handcrafted brews and award-winning Island vintners. For the full list of exhibiting artists and where to find them at the festival visit http://choochokamarts.org/exhibitors/exhibitor-booth-assigments.
Whidbey Children’s Theater partners with the Choochokam Arts Foundation for its third year to bring to life the Kid’s Zone at Langley Park located at Second and Anthes Streets. The Kid’s Zone introduces activities and arts and crafts for kids of all ages, including face painting, chalk art and a puppet making workshop and performance, as well as musical numbers from the theatrical production of “Puss and Boots.” Students from the Northwest Language Academy will delight audiences with cultural music and world dance.
NWLA will host a peace-flag making workshop; the finished flags will hang over the city of Langley to honor a vision of World Peace.
Original music takes front stage at this year’s festival on a new and improved 20 foot by 20 foot Main Stage complete with festival lighting. The festival’s 30+ musicians will perform all original works on two stages—the Main Stage located at First and Anthes Streets and the Pavilion Stage located at Useless Bay Coffee Company on Second Street beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Audiences will enjoy newcomers and returning favorites alike in a variety of genres including folk, bluegrass, roots rock, jazz, world, marimba, country, acoustic rock, reggae, funk and blues. For the full music lineup visit http://choochokamarts.org/entertainment-2014.
The festival’s traditional Street Dance begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday with opener and six-time festival fan favorite, 20 Riverside. The six-piece funk group from Everett blends the driving rock and brassy horns of Chicago and the funky grooves of Tower of Power with socially conscious lyrics. Seattle’s Letters From Traffic, a seven-piece rock and soul marvel with Whidbey Island roots, follows with sweltering vocals, fresh horns, hot guitars and down and dirty grooves. All original contagiously moveable songs layer trumpet, trombone, saxophone, vocal-harmony, lead and rhythm guitars, bass and drums.
Ben Rice returns to Choochokam with his exhilarating stage show to close out the Saturday Night Street Dance. Complete with cigar box guitars and resonators, Ben Rice brings vintage blues to the modern arena blending soul, roots blues and West Coast blues with rockabilly and funk. This virtuosic guitar player, who first picked up his father’s nylon stringed guitar at the age of five, now has twenty years of playing, numerous awards, nominations and a music degree from the University of Oregon. Ben is a 2014 finalist in the prestigious National Blues Association’s International Blues Challenge, was named 2013 Male Vocalist of the Year and 2013 Traditional Act of the Year by the Cascade Blues Association and received Performance of the Year Winner and Acoustic Guitar of the Year Winner from the West Side Blues Society.
The annual Choochokam Arts Festival is a program of the Choochokam Arts Foundation and is supported through the generous donations of sponsoring organizations and strategic partners. The 2014 Festival is sponsored by AlliKat Records, Creativity Source, The New York Times, Sequoyah Electric,Whidbey Children’s Theater, Whidbey Life Magazine, Whidbey Island Bank, Whidbey Island Printing, Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, Whidbey Telecom and Whidbey Weekly; with special thanks to Useless Bay Coffee Company, the Langley Community Club and numerous volunteers.
About Choochokam Arts Foundation: Active in the community since 1975, the Choochokam Arts Foundation was founded as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in 2013 to preserve the rich arts history of the South Whidbey Community, to provide sustainability for the legacy Choochokam Arts Festival, and to provide arts programming and support for Whidbey Island arts programs year round. For more information visit http://www.choochokamarts.org.
Image at top: Choochokam Arts Festival booth (photo courtesy of Debra Campbell Designs)
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