Hot Spot: Art in the Park

My husband and I are in the process of relaxing and settling down after getting back from Boulder City’s Art in the Park event. You must understand what I mean when I say “relaxing and settling down”. It’s an hour drive from our house to Boulder City, and both my husband and I have minor anxiety when it comes to really big crowds. I’m claustrophobic, and when I’m in a crowd, I panic because I can’t see a certain distance. He doesn’t like being stuck with a lot of people. Period. Any way, as promised, here’s my look back/hot spot: event for Art in the Park.

Welcome to Boulder CityWe hit traffic as we got close to the Welcome to Boulder City highway sign, and thankfully, majority of the traffic was heading to Hoover Dam and not into Downtown Boulder City where the event is held. I do have to confess that I’ve never seen so many truckers heading towards Boulder City before, but the nice thing about truckers is that they do stick to the lane they know they need to be in. Almost every trucker was heading out to Arizona, so they were – for the most part – in the left lane.

I was surprised to see a sign for “Paid Parking” heading towards the veterans’ cemetery. Both my husband and I asked the same question, “Is there a shuttle to the park?” We pretty much guessed that there must be a shuttle, else why would they charge for parking when the area is so far away from the event?

Last year, it took us a while to find a parking spot in Downtown Boulder City, and as we were riding with my mother-in-law last year, we took so many turns, I was lost. Welcome to Downtown Boulder CityThis year, my husband chose to drive, and instead of turning right where we did last year, he went straight towards the event (without knowing he was heading in that direction). We got extremely lucky! Just as we were pulling up to the Post Office, there was a family packing up and prepping to leave. We waited for them for 5 minutes, and it was worth the wait. We were parked at the entrance of Art in the Park, near the food court!

This year, there were about 150 (or more) vendors (food court not included) from my count, and we walked and looked at all of them! There were a lot of DIY vendors that I just glanced over, collecting ideas and trying to figure out how they did it. Many of them, I looked at my cousin-in-law and said, “I could do that if I had the patience.” She added, “And the time!” I completely agree with her! PracticingShe was there with her baby, and I pretty much nudged my husband until he took over stroller duty. He needs to start practicing, seeing how we’re trying to have a baby, right?

Back to the event! (I get side-tracked easily). There were a lot of metal vendors this year, and it’s something my husband and I admire greatly. One: His dad is a welder, and two: My dad had a friend who was a welder (and I always found the process of metal work fascinating). We actually ended up making a purchase at one of the metal vendors, and you’ll see it at the end of this article.

Loads of high-quality artists and photographers at Art in the Park. I like to look at people’s views of nature, and the photographers there have similar takes on many natural landmarks and land forms…. Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, Antelope Canyon, etc, etc. There were hardly any differentiating factors when it came to the photographers. It was saddening. Artist at workHowever, the artists brought me back to life! There was a guy (pictured) who does all “dead” paintings. As in… his subjects were all skeletons, but every piece was tasteful and beautiful. However, my husband and I did agree: “Not children appropriate.” We’d have to tuck the paintings away where kiddies wouldn’t see them.

Keeping in the line of artists, there were several unique booths this year. I was drawn in by a leather on leather art booth that had tribal style animals. My eye was actually caught by a decent size wolf, but it was a small black owl on white canvas that really drew me in. I guess you can say that I knew I was going to buy that owl before I left the park. I walked away, as my husband and I always walk down each aisle of vendors; however, while we were on the next aisle, I had this feeling in my gut that told me that I shouldn’t wait to buy anything from that leather booth. I held my hand out to my husband – NO! He does not pay for everything. It just so happened that he was holding on to the cash instead of me. I went back to the leather art booth, and I ended up chatting with the artist while I made my purchase of the owl.

Owl purchase

Art in the Park was actually broken into section, and I found it interesting how they separated the crafts. They had heavy, metal, wood, and artwork on the North lawn. The food court separated the North lawn and the South lawn. South lawn consisted of jewelry, clothing, and the farthest southern aisle was the “Foodie” section with marinades, seasonings, and jerky. However, South lawn was also divided into East and West by the restroom row. The West side of South lawn was pretty much miscellaneous tents. As if those vendors were the late applicants and got stuck together in the West lawn, behind the porta-johns. (oops) The East lawn worked around the live music/performance stage and was the area I hated the most because there’s not a lot of space for people to actually sit and enjoy the music without other people walking over them.

Okay, I’ve talked enough about the actual crafts portion of Boulder City’s annual event. Food court time! *rings dinner bell* They had the usual carnival/fair snack foods: popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cake, sno cone, roasted corn cobs, hot dogs, but they also offered alcoholic beverages for those 21 and over, Greek food, Italian pasta and pizza, buffalo burgers, decent BBQ sandwiches and ribs. I always crave candy apples, funnel cake, and sno cones when I go to events like this. I guess it’s the kid in me coming out, but I definitely felt the pull this year. Last year, it was only funnel cake I was begging for. This year, I nagged my husband for both funnel cake and sno cone. (I don’t know why, but it’s hard to find candy apples here in the desert.) I must confess something. I think funnel cakes have gone overboard throughout the years. Now, they’re adding other toppings besides the powdered sugar, and the size of the funnel cake is enough to feed four (4) people. My husband chose the funnel cake (Chocoholic – chocolate syrup with chocolate chips and powdered sugar) while my mother-in-law covered us in the cost ($8). I, on the other hand, ran for the sno cone ($5 for a medium). I, at least, learned my lesson from last year and brought 3 water bottles with me this year. Water was still being sold for $2.00 a bottle (as were canned soda… some bottled soda were being sold for $3 to $4). Nonetheless, I believe my smile explains the whole snack food experience at Art in the Park:

happy Elle

I was definitely a kid in a carnival at the end of the event day. (By the way, that string I’m holding is a balloon. Yes, I got a free balloon to carry around. Yes, I know it’s childish, but I’m a kid at heart.) I did suffer from a sugar-high, -rush, and -crash, and boy, am I paying the price for eating all those sweets right now! (3 hours later)

Last thing, the metal piece my husband and I purchased. We’ve been having issues with other dogs using our yard as a bathroom, and their lazy owners not picking up after their dogs. So… we’re hoping this will help stop the problem.

No Dump purchase

Think it’ll work?

Overall, I’m so happy we went to Art in the Park this year. I have a feeling it’s going to be an annual trip for us, even after we have kids. As much as I wanted to bring our dogs, I’m glad we didn’t because of the sheer number of people and smells and kids and little dogs. (I want to start re-training Syren to be a service dog.) I don’t think Duke is ready for an excursion like that, and I know Syren would be forced to be my protector as she was back in Pismo Beach during all the beach events.

I’m really looking forward to next year’s Art in the Park, benefiting Boulder City Hospital. If you haven’t gone yet… you still have time! The event will be up and running on Sunday, October 5, 2014, 9:00am – 5:00pm!

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