By Tim Leeds
The streets of Havre will be filled with a celebration of art the weekend after the Great Northern Fair.
The Havre Downtown Merchants Association is sponsoring Art on the Avenue for the second year. This year's events will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17.
Janine Donoven, owner of J.M. Donoven Designs in Fine Jewelry, said the members of the association have been very supportive of the idea.
"We thought, What a wonderful opportunity to create an event for the summertime,'" she said.
The event has grown considerably. The first year, artists including painters, sketch artists, potters, crafters, quilters and musicians were invited to display their works on the sidewalks, and the main event was the opportunity for people to create their own art with sidewalk chalk drawings around the Atrium Mall.
This year there will be about 10 vendor booths and 13 workshops scheduled, and more workshops could be added, Debe VandenBoom of the Heritage Center said.
The booths and workshops will be in conjunction with several other events, including the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce's Saturday Market in the Wells Fargo parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon. Other events will be Montana Actors Theatre street theater at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in front of Koefod Agency, a story-writing and illustration exercise at the Havre-Hill County Library at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and a fund-raising "Chillin' and Grillin'" barbecue from noon to 3 p.m. A country jam session by the Hi-Line Cowboy Symphony will run from 3 to 5 p.m.
Proceeds from the barbecue and jam session, held outside of the Heritage Center, will go to the Heritage Center.
Donoven said last year's Art on the Avenue was very popular with a good turnout, especially for the sidewalk chalk drawing. That will again be offered outside of the Atrium from 2 to 3 p.m.
Debbie Vandeberg, executive director of the Chamber, has been helping the Downtown Merchants Association organize the event. She said it's a wonderful event for the community and could keep getting bigger.
"I think the event has an opportunity to grow and be a great draw to the community," she said.
The Downtown Merchants Association found many artists and vendors, both locally and outside of the area, who are interested in the event, Donoven said. One of the vendor's booths is being set up by Craig Waldron of Chester, and four venders are coming from Great Falls.
"We're very impressed with the number of people that responded from out of town," she said.
Quite a few people the association sent letters to replied that they couldn't attend this year, but are interested in coming to Havre for next year's Art on the Avenue, she added.
It's important for anyone interested in participating in the workshops to register for them as early as possible, Donoven said.
To register for workshops in the Heritage Center, contact VandenBoom at 265-7258 or the businesses where the other workshops will be held.
see related story under "Local Headlines"