Once merely a small “tool exchange,” The Avenues Street Fair continues to grow each year and provide more local talent for Salt Lake residents to enjoy and support.
Running for one day only, the fair began at 9 a.m. on Saturday and lasted until 6 p.m., with every hour full of live, local music playing on both ends of I and N street on 6th avenue. Between the two endpoint stages were tents filled with artwork that covered both traditional and unique mediums. Oil paintings covered the walls of stands on one side of the street, while journals made out of old children’s books were displayed on the other. A family friendly affair, the fair encouraged children who felt inspired by the local art to create their own by providing areas full of art materials so they could participate as well.
“I love seeing all the art,” said Olivia Frank, a local high school student. “But the music always stands out to me. I always find a new band or singer that I want to hear more of. It’s cool to see how local talent brings our community together.”
The art wasn’t the only thing capturing fair-goers. Tents promoting nominees for local government positions were scattered among others holding sign-up sheets for a community choir and local service organizations. Breaking up the politics, service, and religious booths, were food stands that featured recipes from several different countries.
“There’s a ton of diversity in the people that live in the Aves,” said Isabella Gines, who also attends a high school nearby, “and the street festival is the best place to see everyone share what is a part of their personal culture and creativity with the rest of us.” Gines added, “Its nice to eat together and enjoy the neighborhood.”
The Avenues itself, as a historic neighborhood, contributed in large part to the street fair’s atmosphere. Homes as old as a hundred years stood watch over the freshly made art displayed throughout the fair. Specifically, the art made by the Featured Artist of the year Caroleine James, one of the youngest Featured Artists the street fair has selected. Having grown up attending and participating in the Avenues Street Fair, James is a local who has gone on to win First Place and Best of Show at the Salt Lake School District Art Fair. James’ past contributions to the fair has included selling hand painted cards. This year though, James was selected to create an original painting of what the Avenues meant to her. Her work, and the work of others, stands as visual representation of Utah community and culture, and can be enjoyed every year at the fair.