Wyandotte Street Art Fair Memories
Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor
I can’t believe a year has passed since last year’s Wyandotte Street Art Fair. Where does the time go? It seems I was just splashing through the city fountain at Eureka Road and Biddle Avenue.
Back in the day, I lived in Wyandotte for over three years in a cute upper flat on Davis Street. Pink flowered drapes and old, register heaters added to the charm. I could hear the seagulls in the summertime. I worked in programming for the city of Wyandotte’s cable department. We covered every day of the art fair, broadcasting a live show from the studio. We interviewed artists, and I remember decorating the studio with a kiddie pool, my parent’s picnic table, and arranging with local shops to borrow paintings and plants.
A terrible storm tore through the fair the summer of 1995. We sent video cameras out to capture footage of ripped tents and puddles in the streets. Once you pour yourself into a fair, it worms into your heart like a high school crush you can’t forget. I’m still fond of it, and I try to walk through it every year. It was fun when I could bike from my adorable flat. Now I have to find parking like everyone else.
Once, I bought a dinosaur hand puppet from a lady who sews her own stuffed animals. I intended to give it to my nephew for his first birthday, but I liked it so much, I kept it for myself. Oops! Sorry, Paul. He’s 14 years old now, so I doubt he cares.
I’ve also purchased a hair braider, a purple sweatshirt with a peace symbol, tie dyed T-shirts, and food, food, food! Fairs are for food; elephant ears in particular. I go just because I know the CIA will be there: the Cheesesteak Institute of America. They grill fresh chicken or steak hoagies with onions. My favorite fair treat. Wyandotte businesses often have sidewalk sales. In the heart of the action right on Biddle Avenue is a Sanders candy store. Hot fudge cream puff, anyone?
The Wyandotte Street Art Fair is a juried fair. Booths range from jewelry, photography, woodworking, metals, glass, pottery, and painting. Many of the 250 artists also set up booths the next week in Ann Arbor, another fair I love like a college sweetheart. I think Wyandotte’s fair is more accessible and less intense than Ann Arbor. You can walk the entire fair in an hour or two.
From a BMX competition to handmade hats, there’s something new every year. Music plays a big part in the ambiance of the fair. Bands play every night along the riverfront across from Bishop Park. For more information and to view the band schedule, check out http://www.wyandottestreetartfair.org.
Wyandotte Street Art Fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s organized by city employees and free to the public. Hours are 10am-9pm Wednesday, July 13th through Saturday, July 16th.
Fingers crossed there aren’t any storms in 2011.
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