Summerfest 2019, located on the grounds of the Logan Tabernacle, is in its 36th year and off to a great start. There are 150 plus vendors and guests are coming from in and out of Cache Valley to shop the different booths.
Allison Covington, who helped with the event, said they have had good crowds and everything is running smoothly.
“We have 23 food vendors and close to 30 performers, give or take a few,” she said. “So far, everything has been going great.”
This year, the Summerfest Board has been preparing for six or seven months. Applications were accepted from November to February.
The vendors have to submit their art and be selected for Summerfest.
“The past few years, the vendor numbers are going up,” Covington said. “We are almost at capacity.”
Vendors from most of the western states came to this year’s festival, but there are some from as far away as North Carolina and Florida, she said.
Covington said none of the art is judged, except for a contest before Summerfest begins.
“We have a contest called Plein Air Paint Out Contest where photographers and artists have three days to produce some work before the festival begins,” Covington said. “They turned their work in the Wednesday before the festival begins. The work is judged and awards are given to both professional and amateur artists.”
Summerfest Executive Director, Elaine Thatcher, is on her fifth year. She said things are looking good.
“I’ve had good comments from people attending Summerfest,” she said. “I’ve been hearing the art is better than ever.”
Thatcher likes to hear from those attending. If there are good quality vendors, she gets positive feedback, letting her know people are appreciating the artwork.
Thatcher said it’s hard to judge attendance numbers.
“It’s really hard to know because it is a free festival,” she said. ”We don’t take tickets to give us an accurate count.”
She guesstimates about 60,000 people in three days. There is a good mix of out-of-town and local talent.
“I’m always happy to see local talent here, like painter Trent Gudmundsen a painter from Idaho,” she said. “It’s good have to have people back.”
Thatcher said festivals are hard on artists. It is time consuming, they travel a lot and still have to produce work they can sell while they are on the road. They pay a fee for the booth and they need to make their cost of the booth back.
One painter, Lisa Barker, said this was her first-ever festival. She stared painting full time a couple of years ago when all her children started going to school.
Barker said she has sold some work and is hoping for a profitable weekend. Her paintings are mostly different shades of blue and wife.
K. Rasmussen, a Hyrum pottery maker, said he was one of the first artists to show his work at Summerfest and he has participated over 20 times.
“I go to 75 shows a year,” he said. “We do some in Arizona, St. George and New Mexico. We aren’t around very much this time of year.”
He and his wife Kerry said they enjoyed being closer to home.
Frank Falk, of Locs Art LLC, makes iHorns. He takes different kinds of sound magnifiers like horns (old phonograph speakers) and hooks an iPhone to them, and they become a speaker.
Falk, an attorney by profession, is a great salesman, getting crowds to gather as he shows his products.
“I’m not sure it’s art, but it usually causes some kind of emotional response,” he said. “So I guess it is some kind of art.”
Summerfest over the years has been known for great art, great food and a place to have a great time.