49th annual festival an event to remember

George Rogers Park was abuzz this past weekend with the 49th annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. The normally idyllic park doubled as a showroom from Friday to Sunday for dozens of local artists to showcase their products, ranging from clothing to handmade birdhouses. by: VERN UYETAKE - Elena Garcia enjoys the creations of Lake Oswego mixed media artist Carol Yamada at the fine arts craft faire Saturday afternoon during the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts..

The last day of the festival was graced with a rain-free afternoon, much to the delight of its many vendors and patrons.

Artist Kristy Lombard, who came to the festival for the first time this year to show her handmade pottery, said that business had "been a little slow, but I think it's the weather."

Fellow artist Stephanie Lee of Rogue River, said that, for her, the show had been "So far, so good!" Like Lombard, this was Lee's first year at the Festival of the Arts.

Lee showed her mixed media paintings made from plaster, acrylic and beeswax on wood for all three days of the festival. She said that she was happy with the turnout from patrons. "People have been so supportive, even coming out in the rain," she said. by: VERN UYETAKE - Quentin Brown, 6, enjoys cotton candy while watching the Kids Day entertainment Friday afternoon at George Rogers Park. The event was part of the three-day Festival of the Arts

Visitors to the festival also commented on the weather as being a deciding factor in the event's success. Lake Oswego resident Shawn Ramage, joined by mother, Susanne Edwards and daughter, Elise Ramage, commented on the weather, joking that, "It's not raining, so how bad can it be?"

The three generations of women enjoyed not only samplings from the various food carts, which ranged from a giant strawberry shortcake stand to a Pizza Schmizza booth, but also the full selection of artists' booths. Edwards noted that the booths this year showcased artists of exceptional quality, saying that "More of them were interesting than not," and that, "There are some really nice things."

Even Elise Ramage, age 7, enjoyed walking around to the various booths. However, she also said that she would have liked to have "A place that kids could draw on paper - an art station" that was more accessible to activities at George Rogers. Regardless, the three women have been coming every year to the festival and said that this year's celebration was a cut above most others.

The atmosphere at the Festival of the Arts on its final day was certainly not one of closing but rather celebration of a fantastic event, appreciated by visitors of all ages. With such a broad selection of art, food and entertainment, the cooperation of Oregon's often finicky weather and the presence of so many talented artists made the 49th annual festival an event to remember.

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