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Chester County Press

Brandywine Festival of the Arts returns for 61st year

08/15/2022 04:52PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The Brandywine Festival of the Arts, a Wilmington tradition since 1961, returns to Brandywine Park on Sept. 10 and 11 with 240 artisans displaying and selling their works, plus food, music, children's activities and pet-adoption opportunities.

The vendors, including 40 who are exhibiting at the festival for the first time, include painters, photographers, jewelry makers, ceramicists, woodcrafters and fabric artists. One must-see exhibitor is watercolorist Beth Palser of Chester County, who has been named the featured artist for the 2022 festival.

Palser, who has received more than 50 awards, including some from national organizations, during her career, describes her work, characterized by hard-edged brush strokes, as “graphic realism.”

The festival is popular with both artists and patrons, said Barry Schlecker, whose Barry’s Events has produced the festival since 2010.

All booth spaces for artists were filled by July, the earliest ever, Schlecker said. Artists enjoy the venue, on the banks of the Brandywine, as well as the event’s camaraderie and the knowledgeable patrons who visit each year.

The festival attracts up to 15,000 visitors over the weekend, with some reconnecting with favored artists and others seeking out new vendors, Schlecker said. Its timing, the weekend after Labor Day, signals the end of summer and, for many, the start of a season devoted to refreshing their homes and purchasing holiday gifts.

More than a dozen food vendors will be offering delectable edibles including chicken, BBQ, soul food, cinnamon buns, kettle corn, ice cream and water ice.

Singers from OperaDelaware will perform. Face-painting and other activities will be offered in the Kids Korner.

Three animal rescue organizations – the Brandywine Valley SPCA, Delaware Humane Association and Angel's Retreat – will describe pet adoption procedures. Each organization will award a cost-free adoption of an adult rescue dog to a qualifying family at the end of the festival.

Brandywine Park is at 1001 N. Park Drive, opposite the Brandywine Zoo. Free parking and shuttle bus service will be available at Incyte, 1801 Augustine Cutoff.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. Admission is $5 per day, with children 12 and under accompanied by an adult admitted free. Friendly pets on leashes are welcome at the festival and on the shuttle buses.

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