The eleventh annual Art in the Park, presented by the Home and Community Education (HCE) of U of I Extension in Vienna, was held Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Vienna City Park with a large attendance.
Cara Webb, coordinator of the event, said the attendance was far larger than previous years. She estimated nearly a thousand people, including vendors, visitors and buyers, attended the four-hour show.
The event opened with a flag raising ceremony conducted by the Long Knives Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution members dressed in Revolutionary War era uniforms.
Musical entertainment during the event included Wayne Stricker & Friends and Johnson County Cloggers.
There were several live demonstrations throughout the day, including embroidery by Alice Brooks, knitting by Virginia Street, quilting by Marie Samuel, decorative and water color painting by Cathy Warmack and Marie Samuel.
Displays included artifacts recovered from a sunken flatboat discovered not long ago and believed to date back to 1814, in the small community of America, Illinois, in Pulaski County.
The highlight of the show came from none other than, Mother Nature, when an unexpected, brief-but-powerful windstorm caught everyone off guard.
Webb said the wind picked up a tent, a table, plastic totes and a lot of papers, and tossed most of it across the park. “A lot of the papers probably ended up at West Vienna,” she said. “The table was a plastic one with a metal frame,” Webb said. “It hit [a girl] as it was tossed a cross the park.”
Phil Morris, manager of the Vienna Welcome Center at the Depot, referred to the windstorm as a ‘dust devil’. “That’s what my grandpa always called them,” Morris said. “Grandpa always said it’s caused by dry weather.”
Dixie Terry reports, “The whirlwind that blew through the park was not a planned event of the day, but it was quite exciting as we all stood and watched the action. Two booths were damaged a bit and merchandise was blown all over the park.”
Other highlights of the show included baskets and bowls, quilts and pillow cases, as well as photography, leather and woodworking, lawn ornaments, ceramics, floral arrangements and decorative gourds, just to name a few.
HCE members are already starting on plans for next year’s Art in the Park.