Proctor Arts Fest is back and better than ever

  • SUMMER FUN. Up to 10,0000 or more people are expected in Proctor District for the fest, which runs Aug. 3-5 (PHOTO COURTESY OF PROCTOR ARTS FEST)

Now in its 16th year, Proctor Arts Fest has more going on than ever before. This three-day event – Aug. 3, 4 and 5 – offers a wealth of attractions what will appeal to all ages, from little tykes to grandparents. Up to 10,000 people are expected this year, and more than 140 art vendors will have their best on display.

The fest is presented by the Proctor Business District Association and made possible by more than a dozen area sponsors. Tacoma artist Eugene Kester and Chalet Bowl owner Nancy Frederics are longtime co-chairs of the planning committee. “It’s always amazing to me what our group puts together,” he said, and for good reason: the fest offers a variety of attractions not found at other Tacoma street fairs.

Kicking things off will be the annual Proctor merchants’ sidewalk sale on Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Continuing the same hours Aug. 4, the sidewalks in front of shops on 26th and North Proctor Streets will be lined with merchandise tables and racks full of great deals on everything from home and garden décor, to clothing, art and more. In fact, the sidewalk sale is what gave rise to Proctor Arts Fest years ago. “Our arts fest emerged out of the sidewalk sale the merchants had been putting on,” Kester said. “They decided some time ago to add the arts fest and it evolved into what it is today.”

The big festival day is Aug. 4. Starting at 10 a.m. and rolling until late afternoon, the day is jam-packed with arts and crafts vendors, music, entertainment on four stages, the Bite of Proctor offering delicious foods at various spots around the festival grounds, a Kids Fest at North 28th and Proctor streets where little ones can play and make art, a quilt display by the Comforters Quilt Guild at the Masonic Lodge, a “Mega Uke” ukulele jam on the Proctor Farmers Market Stage, and even a Top Dog Fashion Show and Parade at the Click! Family Stage. (See the complete schedule of events accompanying this article.)

The bustling Proctor Farmers Market will be open for business that day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature its own entertainment stage all day. The Blue Mouse Theater will be holding a free screening of the film “Puss In Boots” (Rated PG).

One of the highlights of the Art Fest is the juried art show at Mason United Methodist Church. Running for two days, Aug. 4 and 5, visitors can see more than 80 art works by local artists that were selected just for this show. Winners will be announced Aug. 5.

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