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Elizabethtown will transform into a canvas for artists again this fall.
The Via Colori Italian Street Painting Festival once again will take over downtown on Sept. 10.
The festival is a fundraiser for the Advocacy and Support Center in Elizabethtown and provides a creative outlet artists can access to mold scenic pastel paintings directly on the pavement of North Main Street and the square in downtown.
In addition to the artists’ paintings, gourmet food, crafts and art vendors will be on display, and a car show is scheduled, according to a statement released by the ASC.
Sarah Vaughn, special events coordinator for ASC, said the organization decided to relocate the festival to Elizabethtown last year because its main headquarters is in Hardin County, which makes it easier to coordinate. The festival previously has been held in Bardstown.
Via Colori translates to “street of many colors” in Italian and is a national festival. Vaughn said the organization purchases the licensing rights to host the event and is the only organization holding the festival in Kentucky.
Last year was the inaugural year in Elizabethtown and the event attracted around 50 artists to downtown, Vaughn said, where they painted everything from expressionist pieces to banners paying tribute to those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
This year, ASC is expecting more than 60 “large scale masterpieces” during the festival, and each drawing will be sponsored by a business or individual. On Saturday night, the art will be illuminated by candlelight during a concert, according to ASC.
Vaughn said around 1,000 people attended last year’s festival, but she expects the one-day event could attract 4,000 to 5,000 people this year.
The Via Colori also invites a featured artist to showcase their work. This year’s artist, Samuel Cooney, is a Hardin County resident. Samples of his work will be available for viewing at www.kyviacolori.com.
One change this year is an 18 or over requirement to attract high-quality artists. Those under 18, however, can participate in the kid’s area, and Vaughn said organizers plan to recruit artists to hold workshops during the event.
Vaughn said ASC purposely avoids a theme for the festival in an effort not to restrict artistic expression. The only prohibitions, she said, are derogatory works and commercial logos.
Vaughn hopes to see ASC benefit more financially as the festival grows. The festival raised less than $10,000 last year, but she would like to see it reach $25,000 to $50,000 in upcoming years.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.