From May 18 until the 21, you can enjoy the enrichment and diversity of the fine and visual arts at this annual festival! Held on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, this annual celebration features over 50 fine artists and crafters, free performances, and the largest selection of food vendors you’ll find anywhere this weekend!
Founded in 1956, the Fine Arts Fiesta is the most established festival of its kind in the state of Pennsylvania. Sixty-two years ago, Annette Evans and Alfred Groh founded the Fiesta as a celebration of art throughout the Wyoming Valley area. The first event lasted three days and celebrated music, dance, drama, sketches, and displays.
Today, the Fine Arts Fiesta now spans four days of fine art fun and continues to thrive as the longest-running free event in the city of Wilkes-Barre.
The iconic musician Tom Rush is headlining this Year’s Fiesta on Saturday, May 20th at 7 pm.
For over 50 years, Tom Rush has been writing and playing with passion, tenderness, and, well, talent. His music helped shape the folk revival in the 1960s and the renaissance of the 1980s and 90s. He has also influenced other talented musicians across all generations, including James Taylor, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty. Additionally, his Club 47 concerts have brought much-deserved attention to emerging artists like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin.
Come on out and experience Tom Rush’s musical traditions and talents for yourself this weekend!
If you can’t make it to see Tom Rush, performances on the Main Stage are ongoing. Local schools will be performing throughout the event, including Wyoming Valley West High School Chorus, Coughlin High School Jazz and Concert Band, Holy Redeemer Royal Singers, Dallas Middle School Select Chorus, and the Wilkes-Barre Academy Glee Club. Professional acts and strolling performers are also providing entertainment.
One of the largest highlights of the Fiesta is the Artist’s Market, which features merchants from across the country. The Artist’s Market is the perfect place to experience and support the talented artists from this area and beyond. Arts and craft vendors have everything you could hope for at an event such as this. Everything from ceramics and homemade jewelry to homemade brooms, clothing, and stained glass are at your fingertips–as well as paintings, photography, and more!
The Fiesta also includes juried art shows for both adults and students. The Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Adult Juried Exhibition showcases 343 entries from 112 artists and 169 pieces of artwork. For the last 36 years, the Fiesta has held a special juried exhibition for junior-senior high school students’ artwork. This year features 78 registered entries from 25 artists and 65 pieces of artwork. Be sure to stop by these tents, as well as the Wyoming Valley Art League tent, to view some of the area’s local talent. And if anything strikes your fancy, many of the pieces are available to purchase. Nothing adds some charm to your decor quite like some local art!
And just for the kids, be sure to check out the new Children’s Painting Workshop and face painting tent!
Bring your appetite–and your family!–with you when you stop by the fiesta. Even the pickiest eaters can find something they love from the numerous food vendors. Everything from ice cream to pizza, haluski, barbecue, Jamaican and German foods, and even chocolate-covered bacon (yes, chocolate covered bacon) is readily available right on the square.
There’s no better way to spend a beautiful weekend than by listening to good tunes, eating yummy food, and admiring local talent!
The monthly Third Friday Wilkes-Barre Art Walk will be a part of the Fine Arts Fiesta on Friday, May 19th. Participating businesses include Barnes & Noble, King’s College, Downtown Arts, Letts Eat, Marquis Art & Frame, the Osterhout Free Library, Musical Energi, Rodano’s, and Wyoming Valley Art League.
For more information on the Fine Arts Fiesta, including the schedule of events, check out their website here!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.