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Summer on the Streets ignites Creative Crawl flare amidst rainy weather

The Firehouse Art Center hosted the festival for a diverse group of local artists, musicians and food vendors with a vibrant display of creativity and energy.
Napali dancers perform at Summer on the Streets, May 13, 2023.

On a cloudy and drizzly Saturday evening, Summer on the Streets, as part of the Creative Crawl, launched with a Summer Street Festival showcasing a smattering of Longmont food, music and art.

On Fourth Avenue between Main and Coffman streets, The Firehouse Art Center hosted the festival for a diverse group of local artists, musicians and food vendors who defied the rainy weather with a vibrant display of creativity and energy, transforming the block into a lively hub of artistic festivities. 

Under a backdrop of gray skies, the event burst into life with a mesmerizing Nepali dance performance. Radiating with vivid colors, unexpected body movements and infectious beats, the dancers, dressed in their eye-catching traditional attire, displayed a level of grace and synchronicity that could only come from countless hours of practice.

As the Nepali dance unfolded, the air was filled with the enticing aromas of hibachi-style noodles and scallion pancakes from Rising Tiger. The rich and inviting aromas billowed throughout the entire block, mingling with the vibrant atmosphere of the performance. The delightful combination of sights, sounds and smells created a multi-sensory experience that transported attendees to another creative realm. 

While the dance and aromas filled the atmosphere, attendees meandered through the bustling event and were greeted by a diverse array of tents displaying a plethora of artistic talents. From colorful clothing and dazzling jewelry to intricate drawings and handcrafted stitchwork, each tent offered a unique glimpse into the imaginative minds of local artists. Visitors explored various expressions of creativity, admiring the innovative designs and the passion evident in each piece which fostered an atmosphere of inspiration and creative spirit that thrived throughout the festival.

Amongst the exhibitors was Joyanna Rose Gittings from Obra Arts, whose warm and dynamic space displayed a series of vibrant scenes rendered on canvas with watercolors. Her paintings, although lively in color, also conveyed a sense of stillness and introspection through landscapes and depictions of figures caught in moments of tranquility and deep emotion.

Following the Nepali dance performance, The Firehouse Songwriters — Dwayne Wolff, Angel Corsi, Helen Peterson, Rebecca Jonas, Tim Merkel and Antonio Lepez — took center stage, enchanting the audience throughout the rest of the four-hour night with their intimate musical sets. Each performer, armed with just a guitar, captivated listeners with their heartfelt tunes. The audience swayed to the sincere lyrics and melodies that sounded the street block. The festival slowly transformed into a living canvas, where the lines between performers, artists and audience blurred and everyone blended into a collective creative celebration.

Alex Wick paints fly-fishing lures on wood. . Adam Steininger

At the end of the block, festival goers encountered the artwork of Alex Wicks, who presented seamlessly flowing watercolor paintings on wood. His creations portrayed the beauty of the natural world—drawing inspiration from landscapes of Colorado to wildlife and even fly-fishing lures. Wicks’ artistry instilled a sense of adventure and wonder, as the colors and textures seemed to dance and meld with the wood's grain — a harmonious blend of subject matter and medium.

By the end of the night, Longmont's creative spirits proved they could weather any storm. As the Summer Street Festival series continues this summer, calendars can be marked for June 10, when the sun is predicted to grace the next event. This festival is committed to providing a platform for local artists and musicians to display their talents, nurturing a vibrant sense of community and connection along the way.