Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 50th Arts Festival at a new location.
The festival, billed as one of the largest one-day events in the country, will be at Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd. in Sylvania, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 9.
Featuring more than 250 juried arts and craft artisans from across the United States, the festival has been the major funding source for the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce.
Proceeds are used for community and business programs offered by the chamber. The event was first held in 1957.
About 20,000 to 25,000 visitors attend the festival each year, said Pat Nowak, chamber executive director, who noted that the new location will allow greater mobility throughout the show area and consolidation of the artists.
For about 10 years, the festival was held at Starlite Plaza. It had been held in downtown Sylvania but it grew so much it had to be moved to Starlite, Ms. Nowak said. "Now we wanted to explore the serene setting at Lourdes College," she said.
This year the festival, which will highlight Lourdes College's arts program, is a partnership of the chamber, the Sisters of St. Francis, and the college.
Presenting sponsors include The Blade, Fifth Third Bank, and Buckeye CableSystem.
The festival is a highlight of the fall season for several reasons, organizers said, including high-quality exhibits, accessible parking, and a juried show which presents best-of-show awards to winners in the categories of fine arts and crafts.
Admission is $2. Free parking and shuttle service will be available at school lots on Silica Drive, including Northview High School and at the Burnham Building. Additional parking spaces will be available at Harroun Park and in downtown Sylvania. Shuttle service will be available to the show site.
In addition to the arts and craft exhibits, the festival will feature entertainment including America's Pride, Eddie Boggs, and El Corazon de Mexico.
Other attractions include a children's area, expanded in scope this year, sponsored by Kingston Health Care and the JCC/YMCA. There will be a display of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and refreshments will be available.
The chamber of commerce also will conduct the 2nd annual juried Lake Erie West School Art Exhibition for students in grades 6-12.
Sponsored by the Sylvania Arts Commission, the exhibit will honor students from junior and senior high schools in northwest Ohio. The exhibit will be open to the public at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College from Sept. 4-7.
The students' artwork will be judged by the Sylvania Arts Commission and monetary awards will be awarded to first, second, and third-place qualifiers in the junior high and senior high categories.
An awards ceremony in the Franciscan Center at 1 p.m. Sept. 9 during the Arts Festival.
Additional sponsors are Mercy Health Partners, Kingston Healthcare, Katz Collision, Toledo Harley-Davidson Buell, the City of Sylvania, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Star 105, and ABC 13.