by Sue Ann Rybak

Kaeli McShane, Maya James and Kylie James wear scarfs and hats by Lyn Jankowski of Funky Creations at the Fall for the Arts Festival on Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sue Ann Rybak)

Despite its being canceled last weekend because of rain, the 28th annual Fall for the Arts Festival brought people to the Avenue in droves on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“It was the first time we had to invoke the rain date,” said Peggy Miller, a spokesperson for the Chestnut Hill Business Association. “And we are so glad we did because it was awful last week. It was a very nerve-wrenching decision because we had to make it three days ahead of time. It was sort of like jumping off a cliff.”

Miller said the big concern was that vendors would be lost.

“We lost seven vendors, but we were able to replace them because we had a waiting list,” Miller said.

Another worry was the Eagles’ game on Sunday.

But, that didn’t stop people from coming out. In fact, some residents grabbed lawn chairs and put the television outside to watch the game and eat old-fashioned popcorn and drink beer.

The festival has become a family tradition for many residents. But people came from all over to buy beautiful paintings, illustrations, photographs, prints, sculpture and pottery. This year’s festival, which according to organizers’ estimates drew 22,000 people, was a huge success with people coming from as far away as Conshohocken and Norristown.

This year’s festival had two music stages featuring four wonderful performers: Dukes of Destiny, Zydeco Go-Go, 56 Men and Rich Posmontiere. The event was sponsored by Subaru, which displayed some of its newest models, and B101, this year’s media sponsor. For the younger crowd, there was a rock-climbing wall, moonbounce, pumpkin painting, face painting, arts and crafts, a magic show, appearances by Elmo and Professor Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, and much more.

The winners of this years Fall for the Arts Festival were Matthew Sharratt Wood, best-in-show; Lisa Budd, first-place for water colors; Linda McAdams, first-place for photography; Jenn DiGuglielmo, second-place for photography; Ingeneous Rock Gallery, first-place for sculpture; Bob Richley Pastels, first-place for drawing/illustrations; Jennifer Kerper, first-place for crafts, and Intertwined Original Art, second-place for crafts.