Over 100 vendors and artists are available at the all-day Artfest in Vandergrift

Vandergrift organizers are going down the rabbit hole for the 2022 Artfest celebration in Vandergrift.

Artfest president and organizer Lisa Dormer said this year’s theme pays tribute to the classic “Alice in Wonderland.”

More than 100 vendors and artists will occupy Grant Avenue closed for a festival that attracts hundreds of attendees annually.

“Artfest has been sold to vendors and artist spaces. Thanks to the strong response, our numbers have doubled in size since last year,” Dormer said.

More than 15 live music acts will provide two-stage entertainment for the July 31 event.

“It’s continuous music all day long,” Dormer said.

Musical acts include Aubrey Burchill, Madeleine McCain, Nick Graham, Crowe & Wolfe, Miss Freddye’s Homecookin Band, Bill Rush, The Band G-6, Eliana Killouris, 56 East Band, Jessica Youchum-Sipes, Brachtopus , Leighann Mikula, and Julie and the second offenders, Tumbledweeb and Lenny Collini 4 pak.

Project Palette returns, with 22 custom colored panels, half featuring Wonderland themes, that will be displayed on the sidewalks around the historic business district.

Vandergrift-born Alex Chavens and artist/muralist painted four Wonderland-themed paintings displayed along Grant Street.

Joyce Hans | Tribune review

Vandergrift-born Alex Chavins and artist/muralist recently painted this Alice in Wonderland mural on his property to get the community excited about the upcoming Artfest.

The Chaffins volunteer their artistic talents, time, and creativity for the event in an effort to promote positivity about Vandergrift.

“I didn’t get paid, but just wanted to add more excitement to the city for Artfest,” Chavins said.

Dormer said Chavins painted six huge wooden selfie stations along Grant Street.

Last year’s festival raised about $5,000, all of which goes to support the festival.

“We work on a small budget. I am proud of the quality of the event we are hosting with such a budget, because of our amazing volunteers,” Dormer said.

Organizers said about 40 volunteers are applying this year, up from the usual 20.

Last year, about 1,500 people attended the first post-Covid Artfest festival. This year, Dormer hopes to break attendance records.

“If the weather cooperates, we hope 5,000 will turn up,” Dormer said.

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Joyce Hans | Tribune review

Vandergrift Artfest returns July 31 on Grant Street in downtown Vandergrift.

It will sell approximately 18 Greek, Mexican, Italian, American and Asian food trucks and food vendors.

Some of the participating food trucks include Anything Rolls Egg Rolls, Hot Ash Wood Fired Pizzas, Fat Cat’s Cheese Steak, Bubbles and A Bite, Rescue Dogs Hot Dog Truck, and Ekaterina Fusine Greek/Mediterranean.

Free activities for kids include drawing, sensory play stations, a fog tent to cool off, story time, and a firetruck for hands-on exploration.

“There are a lot of creative people in this city, and it is really important that we have a day when we get together and celebrate their gifts,” Dormer said.

Attendees will be able to meet and greet volunteers dressed as characters from “Alice In Wonderland” as they cruise down Grant Avenue during Artfest.

Joanne Wiley, a Vandergrift resident and professional fashion designer, sewed the costumes.

Parking is available on municipal squares, and most parking spaces around town are not metered.

The event is rainy or sunny.

Joyce Hans is a writer for the Tribune Review. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, [email protected], or via Twitter .

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