Greenville, KY – Eat, shop, chit, chat, create, clap, finger snap! It’s time to squash and gobble! The Greenville Tourism Commission is pleased to present the 8th annual “Squash & Gobble Arts Bazaar and Fall Festival.” This signature arts and crafts event and family fall festival is set for Saturday, September 17th from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. The Squash & Gobble festival celebrates and spotlights both the performing and visual arts while offering families a fun-filled FREE fall festival.
The visual arts portion of the festival will feature Kentucky artisans from across the region. A record setting 115+ artisan booths will line the downtown sidewalks with creations in jewelry, fabrics, paintings, drawings, stained glass pieces, leather goods, floral arrangements, pottery, primitive furniture and much more.
The performing arts will be celebrated with a full day of talent and entertainment! The performances this year include bluegrass musicians, dancers, painting, and thumbpicking. All performances will be on the courthouse grand veranda with the first show beginning at 9:30 am with a live speed painting performance by local artist Jeff Vincent. This is a perfect opportunity to see an artist in action and watch original creations come to life!
At 10:00 am get ready for a top-tapping good time with “The Lanham Brothers Jamboree”. This two-hour performance will include bluegrass music and a variety of songs partnered with traditional Appalachian clogging, skits and plenty of crowd interaction!
At 12:30 pm see a special children’s jazz and hip-hop dance performance by Greenville based studio Encore Dance and Owensboro’s Musick Studios. The performance will feature 20+ young dancers that will wow festival goers with their specially choreographed dance routine. This talented group is headed to Atlanta in October to compete at the World of Dance!
A special Thumbpicking Showcase featuring this unique style of guitar playing that has its roots in Muhlenberg County will begin at 1:30 pm. The showcase will feature Joe Hudson, Roger Hardin and Parker Hastings, three award-winning musicians. Hudson was awarded the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame “Horizon Award” in 2009 and currently serves as the national organization’s Director. Hastings is the considered the newest star in the world of thumbpicking having been named the 2014 Grand Champion at the International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking contest at the tender age of only 15. He was also inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame (NTPHF) in 2014 after being awarded the “Horizon Award.” To follow up his break-out first year on the thumbpicking scene, Hastings was named the 2015 “Thumbpicker of the Year” by the NTPHF. Roger Hardin is an accomplished thumbpicker as well! He is a two-time International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Champion plus a former Indiana State and Winfield Kan Fingerstyle Guitar Champion. This trifecta of musical talent will be performing thumbpicking classics by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis to celebrate Muhlenberg County’s deep musical heritage. Thumbpicking fans should bring lawn chairs and settle in on Main Street to enjoy this phenomenal talent showcase!
The chainsaw woodcarving demonstration is also back in the 2016 festival line-up! This popular art demo will be located in the parking lot of Edward Jones Investments on North Main. Bear Hollow Wood Carvers, leaders in the chainsaw wood carving industry, will be performing 4 live chainsaw carving demonstrations at approximately 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. The tourism commission has pre-purchased the sculptures and they will be permanently placed in the Brizendine Brothers Nature Park.
New this year is a glass blowing demonstration by Louisville, Kentucky based The Glass Talisman. Glass artist Gail Oyler will be bringing this unique form of art to Greenville for the first time ever! Watch as she uses fire and heat to transform glass into custom, one-of-a-kind designs. She will also be bringing her current inventory of glass selections for attendee’s perusal and purchase.
This year’s event will also host “The Squash and Gobble Art Competition.” Artists of all ages are invited to participate in this annual event. The 2016 competition will again feature an adult division! Artists are invited to put their creative juices to good use by creating original pieces to compete for ribbons and cash prizes! Pieces may be submitted to the competition until Thursday, September 15th at Greenville City Hall located at 118 Court Street in downtown. For a complete list of rules and guidelines visit the special Squash & Gobble page at TourGreenville.com. All entries will be displayed in a tented outdoor art gallery located at The Crossing form 10:00 am – 3:00 pm during Squash & Gobble.
The fall festival element of the event is all about family fun. There will be a wide variety of FREE activities for the kids at the 2016 Squash and Gobble. Some of the free children’s activities that will be available include pumpkin painting, guitar painting, pony rides, balloon twisting, petting zoo, airplane art and apple toss. Courtesy of the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System, the 40’ long inflatable corn maze will be back for hours of play! Plus, take a turn at the ever popular mechanical bucking pumpkin! It’s FREE to kids of all ages! There will also be Side Walk Chalk Art Poole’s Pharmacy Care along with inflatables. In addition, SOAR will be offering free book giveaways and games in front of the library.
The old fashioned cornmeal-making demonstration is also back for 2016 with a gristmill stone grinder making up ready-to-buy cornmeal for attendees to purchase. Look for the demo at the corner of Main Street and West Main Cross.
A full food court will feature seasonal goodies like funnel cakes, homemade kettle corn, fried pies and roasted corn on the cob.
Maps outlining specific locations and times for all the of Squash & Gobble events and activities are available at any downtown Greenville merchant or for download here. The Squash & Gobble Arts Bazaar and Fall Festival is a great way to kick-off the fall season! For additional information contact Beth Newman at 270-338-1895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.