What was once a one-night art and music festival downtown created by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce will be reborn as something new this year.
Late last year the chamber chose to discontinue “Art and Music in the Heart of Newton,” a traditional one night affair on a Thursday evening that featured street performers and artists downtown.
In its stead, The Spring into the Arts Festival will host a new downtown celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.,m. April 19. on Sixth Street, in Krehbiel Park and the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton.
Spring into the Arts Downtown Celebration will feature performances by local musicians and members of the Newton Area Arts Council, food trucks, art demonstrations and announcement of the winners of the annual festival art contest.
Food trucks will begin serving at 5:30 p.m. along Sixth Street. Vendors include LeJ’s Barbecue, Salted Creamery, Twisted Joe’s on the Go, Kona Ice and Comfort and Joy.
Live music begins in the park at 6 p.m. with the Newton Chorale, followed by a quintet from Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra at 6:30; Newton Community Children’s Choir at 7 p.m.; Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m; and Sounds of the Heartland at 8 p.m.
Local artists demonstrating throughout the evening will include Susan Bartel, watercolor; Mary Lee McDonald, mosaics; and Patty Morton, fabric sculpting.
Art contest winners will be announced at 7 p.m. in the gallery. Prizes will include $100 for overall winner and $50 for second place and art-themed gift baskets for youth prizes.
Additionally, information about participating members of the Newton Area Arts Council will be available at the event, including the Newton Murals and Arts Project, which will set up information on Sixth Street in front of the site of its first mural.
Admission to the event is free.
In addition to the downtown celebration, several other festival events are planned for April, including:
Berta Rojas and Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, 4 p.m. April 8 at Memorial Hall at Bethel College. Tickets available at the door.
Latin Fusion Music Showcase, 7 p.m. April 13 in Krehbiel Auditorium at Bethel College. Presented by Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts. Admission is free.
Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus spring concert: 7 p.m. April 15 at Bethel College. Admission is free.
“Newton Kids Create: Storytelling Through Art,” 1-5 p.m. April 22 at Kauffman Museum, North Newton. The event is the opening reception for an exhibit featuring art by students in Newton Public Schools. Admission is free.
Apple Blossom Festival, 5-8 p.m. April 27 at Newton Presbyterian Manor. Featuring performances by Newton Community Children’s Choir and Great Plains Jazz Orchestra, barbecue dinner, craft vendors and children’s carnival. Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children and are available at Presbyterian Manor and Midland Bank. Tickets will be available at the gate for $9 for adults and $5 for children.
Watercolor Roses Workshop, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Carriage Factory Gallery. Cost is $35 and includes supplies. RSVP by calling 316-284-2749.
Newton Community Children’s Choir spring concert: 3 p.m. April 29 at Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton. Admission is free.
For more information about the festival or the downtown art celebration, call the Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau at 316-284-3642 or go to www.tonewton.com/spring-arts-festival.html.