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Arts walk will take over downtown Oct. 23

Shoppers and artists fill downtown Westfield for the 2020 art walk sponsored by ArtWorks of Westfield. The 2021 edition, dubbed ArtoberFest, is Oct. 23. (FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD — After PumpkinFest this weekend, the city’s annual celebration of literature, music and art will have the spotlight all to itself on Oct. 23.

ArtWorks of Westfield will host ArtoberFest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, featuring local and regional artists with booths along Elm Street in the downtown area.

“ArtoberFest is the 2021 rendition of our annual ArtWorks Westfield Fall Art & Author Show, which debuted in 2017 in conjunction with the launch of the inaugural Westfield on Weekends PumpkinFest,” said Bill Westerlind, ArtWorks president.

Westerlind noted since its inception, the show has featured a mix of artists and authors and has been conducted on the same day as PumpkinFest.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of PumpkinFest in 2020, the ArtWorks Westfield team was able to safely hold the 2020 Fall Art & Author Show in an art walk format outdoors along Elm Street in the Gaslight District,” said Westerlind, noting the event attracted more than 15 artists and authors and was “very well received” by the community.

“Our annual collaboration and synergies with the Westfield on Weekends PumpkinFest changed this year, as PumpkinFest was relocated to the Westfield Boys & Girls Club facility to accommodate the continued strong, successful growth of the event, necessitating more space for growing attendance and activities,” said Westerlind.

After several discussions between the Westfield on Weekends and ArtWorks Westfield teams on the best ways forward to continue the traditional collaboration, Westerlind said ArtWorks members viewed this time as an opportunity to continue the expansion of art and cultural opportunities and experiences for the community by creating two separate events on different dates.

“While the traditional collaboration of Westfield on Weekends PumpkinFest and ArtWorks Westfield ArtoberFest did not work out this year, both groups continue to work together to explore collaborative opportunities to enrich our community through art and cultural experiences in the city,” said Westerlind.

The day’s festivities will build on the traditional fall art and author show format to include live performance dance, live jazz, storytelling and an open mic, as well as free Halloween rock painting and a decorated Halloween pumpkin contest. All activities are free and take place in the downtown area.

The dance and jazz performances will be on the Lambson Square Stage from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cheryl Crowe, who is serving as event coordinator, is overseeing the many moving parts of the event.

“ArtWorks of Westfield strives to host free community events such as WOW does for large events,” said Crowe. “To keep the fall events interesting and vibrant, ArtoberFest will provide the community with quality local artists and rock painting along Elm Street, an array of fine literary authors and a pumpkin contest on the center Green, and live performances in the parking lot next to Mina’s Wine and Spirits.”

Crowe noted the Two Rivers Burrito Co. and the White Lion Brewery will provide food and refreshments “to add for enjoyment as well as supporting local businesses.”

“ArtWorks board members work hard to provide a well planned, memorable experience for our community of all ages as we are here for you,” said Crowe, adding, “come enjoy Oct. 23, find unique Christmas gifts and local entertainment to rock your day.”

Westerlind shared a similar sentiment.

“It is truly a team effort,” said Westerlind. “The longevity of the ArtWorks of Westfield organization and board of directors is attributable to our strong sense of team and commitment to community.”

For updates on ArtoberFest, follow ArtWorks of Westfield on its Facebook page.

The organization has several events and activities planned for the last three months of the year.

“Our Giving Tuesday event, the annual international day of community, takes place on Nov. 30,” said Westerlind, adding, “the Downtown Westfield Photo Challenge culminates on Small Business Saturday in late November, with the announcement of the contest winners.”

Additionally, the annual Images: A Holiday Pop-Up Art Show & Sale takes place during the first weekend of December in conjunction with the Westfield on Weekends holiday activities.

“Supporting the many art and cultural experiences the ArtWorks of Westfield organization offers throughout the year helps our community grow and creates a vibrancy in the city that attracts visitors and new businesses to the city, invites the community to explore and discover all the downtown Westfield has to offer, and builds awareness and civic pride in all Westfield has to offer,” said Westerlind.

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