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Artists, crafters to show wares at weekend festival

Art in the Park returns to Boulder City this weekend after a one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-day festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, in four downtown parks: Bicentennial, North Escalante, South Escalante and Wilbur Square.

This year’s event honors health care heroes, recognizing first responders, employees and volunteers who work to keep the community safe and healthy.

Boulder City Hospital Foundation organizes the festival as one of its main fundraisers for the nonprofit medical facility.

This year’s featured artist, Gregg “Viz” Visintainer, was commissioned to create a special tribute to health care workers and first responders. Done during the height of the pandemic, the piece features health care workers caring for a patient in front of a flag. Hidden within the pen and ink drawing are items associated with health care such as a bandage, stethoscope, syringe, crutch and helicopter.

Visintainer is a self-taught artist. After a severe car accident and two back surgeries, he set aside his artwork for six years as he struggled with “personal demons.” At 24, in an effort to focus on something besides his loneliness, he returned to his art.

According to the hospital foundation, Visintainer’s artwork is described as “extreme doodling.” Every piece features hidden pictures and words that draw viewers into the art as well as raising interest into the story behind the messages.

Organizers are expecting more than 330 exhibitors, who will showcase a variety of fine arts, fine crafts and traditional crafts. Additionally, there will be live entertainment and a variety of food booths.

Also, Boulder City Fire Department will be offering free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations on-site.

A ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, featuring Mayor Kiernan McManus and Rep. Susie Lee, will kick off the 57th annual event.

The festival benefits Boulder City Hospital to purchase needed equipment and make capital investments, said Victoria George, the hospital’s director of marketing and community engagement.

Art in the Park generally attracts about 100,000 visitors. Admission is free.

A shuttle is being offered from the parking area at Veterans’ Memorial Park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd. There is a $10 fee to park, but no extra cost to ride the shuttle to the downtown parks.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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