Art paints Newton square Saturday

Art-lovers are expected to flock to Newton this weekend for an annual celebration with chalk murals, children’s crafts and entertainment.

The Newton Merchants Group will host the Fifth Annual Newton ArtFEST on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The one-day, multi-media event will feature local artists, craftsmen, food vendors, a sidewalk-art contest, sidewalk sales and entertainment.

Representatives from local wineries will also be on hand Saturday to offer sampling and bottle sales at the festival on Newton’s downtown square.

For the first time in the festival’s five-year history, the Knights of Columbus will sponsor a car show for the public. The car show is an annual event the Knights hold that was combined with the ArtFEST this year, said Wes Weaver, president of the Newton Merchant’s Group.

“They had a car show last year and we wanted to merge it with the ArtFEST,” Weaver said. “We want to push ArtFEST as big as we can.”

Weaver said the event revolves around promoting art in the area as well as exposing children to alternative forms of expression.

“It gives them other avenues to express themselves,” Weaver said. “It’s very important.

I can’t draw stick figures, but I can clearly see the importance of having art in our community.”

The ArtFEST, like other events sponsored by the merchants group throughout the year, draws many people to Newton’s downtown – something Weaver said is the purpose of the organization.

“We want people to be comfortable coming down here, and events like ArtFEST expose citizens to what Newton has to offer,” he said.

One of the biggest draws of the annual ArtFEST is the chalk-art contest. The competition challenges children and adults to craft their best chalk mural on a sidewalk square around the courthouse in Newton.

Last year, participants chalked realistic and 3-D murals of hot-air balloons, ice ponds and other colorful scenes. On Saturday, prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 12 and younger, 13 and older, and the people’s choice favorite.
This year, Duke Energy, the United Arts Council of Catawba County, and Seize the Photo Photography signed on as sponsors for ArtFEST.

Also at the festival, the Newton Festival & Events Committee will have a children’s activity tent, which will kick off the “Light Up the Town” coloring contest. Tru Dyno Sports in Conover is sponsoring the tent this year. Materials will be available at the tent to make trick-or-treat bags for the upcoming Spooktacular, set for Oct. 29. Children who bring their handmade bags to Spooktacular will receive a special prize at the Honey’s IGA tent that night.

Bands, singers and performers will be on the north side of the courthouse beginning at 10 a.m., said Gary Herman, Newton public information officer.

Entertainment will include GMC Jazz and Moods & Memories.

For more information, contact French Curve Studio at 828-464-8922.