By Amanda Waddell
As summer finally shows up in Northern Colorado, the festival season begins.
But little do most realize that the planning and organizing for these well-loved downtown events take most of the year to prepare for the community’s enjoyment.
Take the always-awesome Pastels on 5th. The coordinators have been meeting and strategizing since January and will continue through October. Ten months to create and build the fundraising festival that covers downtown Loveland in color.
On 5th street in downtown Loveland, this chalk-art event has grown into a most impressive festival. Started by Vicky Paul-Bryant 9 years ago to benefit the local nonprofit Alternatives to Violence, the fundraiser took up only a block by the Loveland Museum & Gallery and attracted mostly Loveland-based artists. Now, the sidewalk squares cover several blocks, artists travel from all over to take part, and the day is packed with music, food, an artisan marketplace, and several family-friendly activities.
The 2nd Saturday of September brings Lovelanders together as artists and volunteers and neighbors connect for not only a community-focused event but also to highlight the important work that Alternatives to Violence (ATV) is doing. Supporting the survivors of domestic violence and other acts of violence, this non-profit has helped hundreds of community members with housing, counseling, legal aid, and other resources, all while opening a shelter and gaining a new Executive Director, Kari Clark.
The impact of local businesses sponsoring squares, artists displaying their creativity, and artisan and vendors providing goods and food, has shown up more and more every year. Last year the event could hand over a check to ATV for $50,000, with this year’s goal even higher.
So, how can you take part?
- Sponsor! There are several ways to sponsor – from donating of goods, money, or sponsoring a “square”. Anyone, individual or business, can get in on this.
- Create! Apply to be a chalk artist – either directly for a business or independently.
- Marketplace Vendor – Booths are still available in the Marketplace or makers of Artisan goods.
- Share! Spread the word, attend the event, enjoy the festival!
This year’s event, for the first time, will include the Friday night before, September 13th, and Saturday, September 14th to include the internationally known WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES, supporting domestic violence awareness. So, they will extend the fun and good feels, along with music, food, and art (think cool 3D artist, announcement coming soon:)).
This is true community – wonderful festivals, supporting wonderful causes.
For more info, check out www.pastelson5th.org or their Facebook page, by the same name.