My summer ritual always includes a weekly dose of music, art, community booths, snow cones, food and beer at Redding’s summer staple – Marketfest – presented by Viva Downtown Redding. Marketfest may be our best community event – a place to unwind after work, entertain cooped-up kids, relax in the shade, catch a free show by world-class touring bands, shop for dinner in the farmer’s market or avoid making dinner and nosh from one of five local restaurant vendors.
This year, I was not only a spectator but also a contributor to each Thursday’s community gathering. HawkMan Studios presented “Art Attack,” a free interactive art experience. Kids of all ages threw painted sponges, drew mandalas, painted with watercolors and acrylics, and created collages.
We invited two professional artists to show us what they do. Andrew Jensen printed a live fish and Jeremy Sawtelle demonstrated his Kool-Aid, coffee and ink work on canvas.
At the urging of my adventurous 10-year old, we danced in the drum circle, the finale to each week’s fun. Step into the circle. You’ll love it. We sweated and swayed surrounded by parents with babies, kid-less couples, beatniks with bongos, punks with mohawks and grandmas with toddlers in tow. After the rhythm ritual, my daughter used some serious cuteness appeal to get a lesson in drumming and a climb on the drum set.
There is one more week to experience the Fest. The California Honeydrops, sponsored by Win River Casino, are on the Carnegie Stage and “Art Attack” will finish off the summer with “Shake, Splatter & Squirt,” an all-out, crazy, paint explosion. Come join us. Dress to get messy!
Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop.