In addition to the venerable Arts and Apples Festival at Rochester Municipal Park, the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild's annual Spotlights Market returns for its 22nd year, offering fine art exhibits and vendors along Walnut and Fourth streets in downtown Rochester.
Suellen Parkes, who is organizing this year's Spotlights Market, says the combination of the market and the adjacent Arts and Apples festival serves like-minded people in the community.
"It's a nice thing for Rochester, period," Parkes said. "People that come to Rochester get the benefit of two shows instead of just one."
The Spotlights Market, a fundraiser benefiting the Meadow Brook Theatre, will have about 125 exhibitors from Michigan and as far as Florida, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, Parkes said, though many of the artists are based here in Michigan.
"It's not just a local show," Parkes said, "But it is predominantly Michigan artists."
Parkes, who has a background in organizing trade shows, is helming the festival for the first time this year, says she enjoys the variety of this year's exhibitors. The market will include local vendors, including Moon River Soap Company and Holy Cannolis, as well as a variety of jewelers, sculptors, photographers, oil painters, potters and clothiers.
The market also will introduce, for the first time, a psychic, as well as yearly staples such as a silk flower vendor and a spa offering massages during the festival.
Parkes said the market will introduce 45 new vendors this year. The exhibit is juried, so vendors must submit applications and examples of their works before being allowed to set up shop at the market, Parkes said.
Parkes estimates an average crowd of about 80,000 visits the three-day festival, which begins 4 p.m. Friday and runs through 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.
"It's just a really wonderful event," Parkes said.
If you go:
- What: 22nd Annual Spotlights Market, benefiting the Meadow Brook Theatre.
- When: 4-7:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
- Where: Downtown Rochester, at Walnut and Fourth Streets.
- Cost: Free to attend, but vendors will have works for sale.
- Parking information: Public parking is available throughout downtown Rochester, within walking distance from the festival.