Summer is officially here and with it, a focus on outdoor fun. Festivals, fairs and concerts will abound in West Linn in the next few months, and already, the arts are taking center stage in our city next door.
Lake Oswego's annual love affair with the arts begins Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the 43rd running of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts.
As always, the festival sets up at its two primary locations: Lakewood Center for the Arts and George Rogers Park. The open art show exhibit of more than 1,000 pieces of artwork at the Lakewood Center is always one of the event's highlights, and West Linn artists are sure to be on hand.
Also popular at the Lakewood Center is the juried exhibit - which opens under the theme, 'The Artists Vision' - as well as the Visual Chronicle Exhibit and the High School Exhibit.
This year the special exhibit is 'SPLASH! Mystery of the Studio. The Intrigue of the Brush.'
Over at George Rogers, the Juried Craft Fair takes place along with activities for children. In both locations, food vendors, music and entertainment help to round out the event.
The Festival of the Arts doesn't sprout up overnight. Indeed, as soon as one festival ends, the planning for the next one gets under way. Co-chairs this year are Lois Suwol and Karen Crist. Backing them up are upwards of 500 volunteers who help operate the festival at virtually every level. We salute Suwol, Crist and their legion of workers for we recognize the quality work they do in putting this event on. The three-day festival traditionally draws thousands and thousands of visitors to Lake Oswego, easily making it the city's premiere event.
For more on what's available, check out the festival guide published by the West Linn Tidings and Lake Oswego Review and available in last week's paper, at the Review's office at 400 Second St. and at various locations around the festival setting.
Originally started by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, the festival moved under the umbrella of the Lakewood Center about 20 years ago. Today, a variety of partnerships, including the chamber, city of Lake Oswego, Lake Oswego School District, Lake Oswego Rotary Club, Clackamas County Tourism and Development Council, local business community and 'Friends of the Festival' help keep the festival operating.
With weather forecasts looking favorable, and a known quality product in the festival, this is a win-win situation for art viewers, socializers and the city at large.
Take it in.