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Harrisburg's Virtual Artsfest

Published: May 4, 2020
Virtual Harrisburg Artsfest

Artsfest 2020 is going virtual!

Artsfest is an annual festival held over Memorial Day weekend that typically draws thousands to Riverfront Park for a celebration of the arts. It features juried artisans and craftsmen from across the United States and Canada, entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks and more.

This is the 52nd year of this juried art show and the 1st year it has gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual festival will be held May 23-25, 2020, with  activities for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own home. (Download the complete event program here.)

Here are the top 5 activities not to be missed:

  1. Artist Marketplace 
    2020 Artsfest Pottery
    An online artist marketplace will be available to browse and shop the handcrafted wares of nearly 200 artisans. Juried artisans and craftsmen from across the United States and Canada will offer handcrafted wares in sixteen categories: ceramics, digital, drawing, fiber (decorative and wearable), furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood. 

    Some artisans will offer specials and discounts valid only during the festival. Throughout the festival, several artists will offer demonstrations sharing the process of how they create their pieces.

  2. Music
    Performance videos featuring more than 10 bands and musicians will be available throughout the festival weekend. A Spotify playlist will also be available.
  3. KidsFest

    Fun for all ages, KidsFest features educational, arts-centric activities throughout the virtual festival. Share the joy in seeing children create, explore and learn many new artist techniques.Artsfest 2020 Coloring Page

Some of the art-centric family activities include:

  • Dance classes provided by Lindy Central and The Studio
  • Theatre performances from Open Stage and Gamut Theatre. The Popcorn Hat Players will also present their show Sleeping Beauty.
  • Custom Artsfest coloring page, designed by Nick Fasnacht Illustration and Design
  • The Whitaker Center for Science & Arts will host a live S.T.E.A.M. cosmic suncatcher craft
  • Maureen Marks Art will provide step-by-step instructions for painting a whimsical cow, similar to the iconic cow statues seen throughout the City. ​
  1. The “Art of Cooking”

    Local food vendors will also be offering meal kits to-go and video demonstrations on how to make recipes at home. Be sure to pick up your meal kits from these vendors before the festival:
  • Knead HBG: order your pizza kit online at www.kneadhbg.com and pick up at the Knead Slice Shop Tuesday-Saturday between 12-5:45pm
  • Sherri’s Crab Cakes: order your crab cake meal kit at www.sherriscrabcakes.com or call 717-761-3322 for pick up at the West Shore Farmer’s Market on Friday from 8am – 4pm or Saturday from 8am – 2pm. Meal kits can also be shipped.
  • Stock’s on 2nd: order your fresh ingredients online by Thursday, May 21 at www.stocksonsecond.com and pick up at the restaurant Monday-Friday between 2-5pm (meal to be announced week prior to festival

    Sherri's Crabcakes       Knead Pizza close-up    

    ​5. FilmFest
    The Moviate Underground Film Fest will feature 12 short experimental and international curated films by 12 different filmmakers. FilmFest offers a wide range of viewership including “Fun More” by Wally Change and “Winter’s First Moons” by Kathy Rugh.  

All activities are free to participate! 

Those interested in participating in the virtual Artsfest activities should follow the Facebook event and http://harrisburgpa.gov/Artsfest for the release of the live new Artsfest website.

Author: Megan Roby

Director of Special Events, City of Harrisburg