64th Fine Arts Fiesta in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- One of Wilkes-Barre's biggest festivals kicked off Thursday in the city's downtown. The Fine Arts Fiesta draws in tens of thousands of people over the four days it is open.

It's not just the art that is showcased but also music, food, and family activities.

This weekend the Valley with a Heart will be the Valley with Art for the 64th annual Fine Arts Fiesta in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

"This is always a great time and it's nice that it's not raining. That's a nice change," Joel Cohen said.

The festival is held every year on Public Square.

"Their intention when they founded it was that it would be a free gift of the arts to the people of Wilkes-Barre," explained board president Mary Anne Fedrick.

There are about 50 artists selling their work at tents all around the festival.

The event also includes an adult and youth art show that features hundreds of pieces of art.

"The sculptures, the painting, the photographs, there really is a lot of talent in northeast Pennsylvania, so I'm glad that there is this venue to exhibit it," Cohen said.

One of the biggest reasons so many artists participate in the fine arts fiesta is for exposure.

"It's just a great time, great opportunity for me to meet new people and show them what I can do and the art I've done," said artist David Corrado.

Corrado is an artist from Hazleton. This is his first time bringing his art to the show.

He's not the only one. Joel Cohen of Swoyersville has been attending the Fine Arts Fiesta for years, but this year, he submitted some of his own paintings.

"I just thought, let's give it a shot. I accumulated them over a couple years and I thought, let's see what the jury thinks," Cohen said.

In addition to all the art, there is music and food.

Ellie's Yummy World is a new business that sells melted French cheese on bread. The Fine Arts Fiesta is the owner's first day in business.

"Hopefully, people will come by and give us a try, give us a go and we're sure they will love it," said owner Liz Reidler.

The Fine Arts Fiesta runs through Sunday. There is live entertainment each night, and there is an awards ceremony for the art competitions on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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