Ketchum While You Can 

A peek at this year's Seventh Ketchum Arts Festival

With few exceptions, the opportunity to see the people creating the treasures we so greedily consume on a daily basis is becoming more and more limited every day. Without markets and festivals promoting sales, many artisans would probably find themselves even more burdened by large chain stores than they are now. All this aside, if you're mourning the empty packet of sparklers in your trash can, and feeling like it's time to acknowledge the desire you have been suppressing since age 5 to win a coloring contest, there's the Seventh Annual Ketchum Arts Festival this weekend (open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). This free event celebrates community through nonprofit organizations, resident artists, musicians, culinary chefs and brewmeisters.

"Kim Howard, the artist whose watercolor is featured on the poster advertising this year's Ketchum Arts Festival, came up with the idea to promote community involvement in the Festival," says Diane Taylor, a member of the committee organizing the festival and one the contest's sponsors.

Taylor and her husband are sponsoring cash prizes of $10, $20 and $50 for children ages 13 and younger and ribbons for adults. Everyone can also receive a certificate of participation. You can find an entry blank at the Taylormade Pottery booth, #330, throughout the weekend, and because this contest is more about getting families to interact with each other during the festival than making money, they aren't trying to force you into staying there all weekend by declaring that winners have to be present. You are free to draw and dash as long as your entry is turned in by noon on Sunday. They will declare the winners at 3:30 p.m. from the festival stage.

The coloring contest is only one of the new aspects of this year's gathering. Located in what organizers term "Festival Meadows," the steering committee chose to lay out the booths in giant ovals instead of on a grid system, so you can easily see every booth and don't have to leave a trail of cotton candy in order to find your way back to Boise. As go through the main entrance, turn left or right and chose whatever grasps your attention first, and after making your way by each booth, enter the opposite side to complete your tour.

Another new addition to this year's Festival is a drum circle. World Beat Street Band will lead the circle beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. For those who prefer admiring to creating, on Friday, you can peruse the festival and then continue satiating your artist's palette with the Ketchum Gallery Walk from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information about the festival, visit www.ketchumartsfestival.com.

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