Having been unimpressed with the new Salem Art Fair location in Bush Park -- as described in "Salem Art Fair better for trees in new location, but not as pleasant now" -- when I saw Wes Bouche's Facebook post, I thought Great idea! ( I assume last two words were meant to be "same time.")
The World Beat Festival has lots of booths, just as the Art Fair does, and it fits nicely at Riverfront Park. The old amphitheater could be used for daytime entertainment, with the new Rotary Club amphitheater used for the evening headliner shows.
Maybe there's some drawbacks to having the Salem Art Fair at Riverfront Park. I just can't come up with any at the moment. The setting is gorgeous, with the Willamette flowing by and Minto Brown Park just an easy stroll away via the pedestrian bridge.
Parking is plentiful at Riverfront Park, especially with the downtown parking garages just a short distance away. Visitors from out of town who come for the Art Fair would be able to walk downtown easily to enjoy the shopping and dining there.
The Salem Art Association should give this idea some serious thought. Yes, Bush Park was a great location for the Art Fair when it could be held under the towering white oaks. But now this is off the table given the damage being done to the roots of the trees by soil compaction.
So if the Art Fair has to be held in an open grassy area, why not have that area at Riverfront Park? It's a considerably more pleasant setting than where the Art Fair was held this year.
This may be a good idea or maybe not. The Art Fair brings people to Bush's Pasture Park (BPP), where both the Bush Barn and the Bush House are located. Both were open during the Art Fair so that Art Fair visitors could check them out. In fact, the Bush Barn has a wonderful exhibit on the Oregon White Oaks in BPP. The Bush House has a very important exhibit about immigrants to Oregon. Check them both out if you missed them. Personally, I love the tradition of having the Art Fair in BPP, but Salem Art Association should do what they think is best for the Art Fair, the artists and other participants, and Salemites -- And I'm sure they will.
Posted by: Christine Chute | July 20, 2022 at 02:36 PM