Monday, June 26, 2006

Tooele Arts Festival

I wasn't selling at the Tooele Arts Festival, but I thought I'd report on it anyway, just for kicks.

The Tooele Arts Festival was held this past weekend in "the" park in Tooele. Really, it's not the only park in Tooele, but there isn't one near our house or, come to think of it, near most houses in Tooele. It's the closest one to us since it's only about a mile away, too far for tiny tired toddlers to walk. I guess little Tooelians are supposed to play in their own damn yards.

Anyway, this is a major event in Tooele. There were cars parked down every adjacent street. The parking lots at the Aquatic Center and Tooele High School were full to bursting, with cars parked along every available inch of curb and underneath the signs that said "no parking-- loading and unloading only." In fact, the only spaces available within three blocks of the event were in the library parking lot, which is just as close to the event as the high school. There were plenty of empty spaces at the library, but the streets around the library were full for several blocks over.

It was kind of like Logan's Summerfest, if Logan's Summerfest had been run by a committee that included unwashed Philistines who wouldn't know fine art if it bit them on the rear. Some of the same vendors that sell at Summerfest were there, but overall the quality of the "art" was lower. There were fine photographs and ceramics, but there were also lawn whirligigs and hideous moss-covered birdhouses. The tie-dye lady I met last year at Summerfest* was there, as was the guy who sold those clever curved earrings. And some of the music acts were the same (Salsa Brava was one), but the rest of the music acts sounded like Amateur Night. Where's Cinnamon Brown and the Eskimos when you need them?

Another difference was that there was alcohol and tobacco at the Arts Festival. People were walking around with plastic cups of piss-colored beer and bottles of fruity hard drinks, and smoking like chimneys in between every booth. I wanted to get FH and Bagel out of there as soon as possible, for fear they'd have asthma attacks.

Overall, it was like an arts festival held in a trailer park: a great place to go to buy art-- if your idea of "art" is a pearlescent painted ceramic unicorn head, and if you don't mind walking by tramp-stampers and burly half-drunk men to buy it. I had missed the app deadline for the Tooele Arts Festival this year, and I think next year I'll miss it as well.

* I thought I had blogged about her at the time, but I couldn't find the post, so I assume I only thought about blogging about her. I walked over to her booth at Summerfest last year and interviewed her, because her tie-dyes were hideous and dark and looked like computer-generated drawings do when they are made with way too wide a "paintbrush". I asked her how she chooses her colors, and she told me the colors speak to her (they'll do that if you inhale too many, uh, chemicals). I asked her what the dark colors say to her, and she said they said "Take me seriously!" as if anyone wearing a tie-dye would be taken seriously.