The annual Midsummer Arts Faire will take place in Quincy's Washington Park June 26-28. This free event has become a summertime favorite for residents and visitors to Quincy. Midsummer Arts Faire organizers spoke with us to provide information on everything you need to know about the upcoming Arts Faire, whether you've attended in the past, or you're a first time fairgoer. 

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What is the story behind the Midsummer Arts Faire? How did it begin?

The Midsummer Arts Faire was founded by local artist Pat Surface in 2004 with support from a variety of community and cultural organizations. Our mission is to increase awareness and appreciation for the fine arts by presenting a set of experiences that connects artists and the community at large.

For first time visitors, what can they expect from the Midsummer Arts Faire?

The centerpiece of this three-day festival is a juried fine art exhibition and sale, complemented by great entertainment, wonderful food, hands-on art activities for all ages, and a Young Collectors Gallery – all in the heart of the Historic Quincy Business District! The Midsummer Arts Faire also partners with numerous local community organizations and businesses in an effort to create a community-wide arts weekend!

Spend a leisurely weekend in Washington Park and help us welcome nearly 60 artists who were selected in a competitive jury process from over 100 applicants. Meet new artists and renew friendships with our returning participants, many of whom will demonstrate their craft. This showcase represents diverse styles and techniques and includes original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculpture, dazzling jewelry, decorative and functional ceramics, vivid photography and so much more.

What about for returning visitors? Is there anything new this year that hasn’t been at the Arts Faire in previous years?

At the Midsummer Arts Faire, we believe art really is for everyone! We invite our patrons to experience art by participating in a number of free hands-on art activities.  This year's projects include: tie dying, screen printing, pottery wheel and sidewalk chalk art.

The Midsummer Arts Faire is not just about visual art. There are performances throughout the weekend. What are the highlights of the entertainment lineup?

Friday, June 26

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Blues in the District Featuring Grady Champion; Q2 Mississippi-based blues musician Grady Champion has been captivating audiences for the better part of two decades. The singer/harp player/guitarist/songwriter has often been compared to other revolutionary artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and Junior Wells. In 2013 Champion signed to Malaco Records (headquartered in nearby Jackson, MS) and his first full-length release with the legendary blues label was released the following year. Bootleg Whiskey, named for the George Jackson song that is one of the album’s highlights, establishes Champion as a torch carrier for authentic Mississippi blues.

Saturday, June 27 Entertainment

10 a.m. Dave Griffin is a singer/songwriter that has been performing for over 45 years. His style is more folk than country but never far from the roots. He loves to sing and entertain with my music including songs by John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Harry Chapin, and so many more of the great singer/songwriters. He loves to try new music with a twist as well as older songs with my own style.

11 a.m. Devonte Jonvire Clark is a 23-year-old indie/folk songwriter from the one and only Gem City. Gravitating towards the more literate subjects throughout school, it’s no surprise that Clark started to gravitate towards the more wordy side of music, such as Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen. Incorporating the jangly melodic approach of The Beatles, and the dynamic of serious/goofy inspired by 90s acts such as Pavement, Clarks music provides a enjoyable, fresh sound that any listener can enjoy!

Noon- Quincy Drum Circle Raising and Realigning the Body’s Vibration through Drumming.

1 p.m. Seven Days Fuller is a local band from Quincy. Members consist of Jimmy Brown, Jacqueline Kaufman, Patrick Fuller, Paul Wood, Jon Walker and David Stegeman. SDF has been together for about three years after having met and played in the worship band at church. They have an eclectic array of cover material spanning pop songs from the last five decades.

3 p.m. Ragtag Irish Clan is a troupe of amateur pub musician wannabes. Ragtag Plays traditional Irish and old time American tunes on acoustic instruments. Dave Scharnhorst- Fearsome Leader, Lisa Scharnhorst- fiddle, Paul Miller- flute, Sam Walker- pennywhistle and noisemakers, Ava Potterfield plays everything, Doug Potterfield- guitar, Ralph Norton- fiddle, banjo, Don Kistner- bass, Rob Ahrens- percussion, Joann Gentry- pennywhistle

Sunday, June 28 Entertainment

11 a.m. Zeke Cernea is a singer-songwriter who performs original music with influences of acoustic rock, folk, blues, jazz, and even some outlaw country. As far as drawing inspiration for his music is concerned, Zeke says it is very simple. An evening of dinner and drinks with friends, a campfire discussion filled with both laughs and tears, a cross country trip with his wife Kaite, a long summer bike ride, a childhood memory, or any of the many experiences life has to offer is more than enough material to provide plenty of songs for this life and the next.

Noon – Noah McNally Born in Quincy in 1993 and raised on Classic rock music. Noah discovered open mic nights soon after learning a few guitar chords and fell in love with performing live music. Heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen. Noah plays acoustic rock that is always easy listening and fun.

1 p.m. Cory Lyssy has performed as a solo acoustic act and with several bands. She was a part of the Quincy Community Theatre’s Godspell production in 2013, which reignited her passion for the stage and performance. She is playing with guitarist Rodney Hart and they have performed at several local venues, the Concerts on the Plaza and are getting ready for the annual End of the World party July 11. Cori is married to Benny Lyssy and they have three children.

2 p.m. Nick and Todd Boyer

What about food? What vendors will be set up during the Midsummer Arts Faire?

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Chicken Pita
Adobo Chicken Tacos
Kale Salad
Hummus & Chips
Iced Tea

Bailey’s Coffee, Fudge  & Fine Gifts

Variety of Homemade Fudge
Gelato
Fresh Brewed Coffees
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds, Pecans & Cashews

The Butcher Block

Burgers
Brats
Polish Sausage
Rib Eye Sandwich
Hot Dogs
Pork Chops
Chips
Potato Salad
Slaw
Macaroni Salad
Pepsi Products

Graham Lemonade

Pizza
Walking Taco
Roast Beef
Chicken & Taco Wraps
Hot Dog / Chili Dog
Pretzel
Nachos
Pepsi Products

Olde Tyme Kettle Corn

Kettle Korn
Caramel Korn

Pop’s Pizza

Variety of Pizzas
Pepsi Products

Quincy Hospitality House

Lemon Shake-Ups
Cookies

SpoonWave

Soft-serve frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors and blends

Do you have any tips for those that will be attending the Midsummer Arts Faire?

Be sure not to miss the best weekend of the summer in our region! You can purchase gift certificates for Father's Day, birthday presents, or just because at artsfaire.org.