Dynamic debut for new East Richmond Heights Fest


By Zach Chouteau

If the First Annual East Richmond Heights Art & Music Festival’s debut edition is any indication, the brand-new event will quickly become one of the city’s most popular summer affairs. Taking place from Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, the neighborhood fiesta offered all the right ingredients for an upbeat July jamboree.

Talented musicians of all ages and styles took to the small tree-shaded stage, impressing the hundreds of visitors who relaxed in a viewing area of fold-out chairs or wandered the numerous art booths. Nearby, a functioning mini steam-train took kids and parents up and down closed-off Berhnard Avenue, a fortune teller looked into her crystal ball to foretell the future, and Supervisor John Gioia even showed up to enjoy the festivities and make some brief statements.

Food trucks and a bake sale added to the happy summertime vibe, and the good times even went towards some good causes—including Mira Vista School’s art and music program, which had a special booth on hand that offered kids the chance to create their own personalized school pennants. The Save the Elm Street Oak project was another recipient of the goodwill.

Art on display ran the full gamut from eye-catching acrylics to beautiful beads and beyond, with about a dozen or so artisan booths on hand.

During his comments, Supervisor Gioia presented event organizer Natalie Kniess with a special award for her efforts behind the new event and other community endeavors.  Kniess was also a driving force behind the May 7 BBQ Spring Fling held alongside the Arlington Market a few months ago.