For many years the Constitution Square Arts Festival was an anticipated event in the local, as well as statewide, fall festival calendar.
The weekend event brought local and regional artists, community groups, musicians and food to the park which is the birthplace of Kentucky. The task of mounting such a large and far range event was daunting and many groups were responsible for the project including the State of Kentucky, local government entities, and various historical and civic organizations.
However, when the State of Kentucky relinquished the park to Boyle County, the financial and organizational burden fell squarely on the shoulders of volunteers and volunteer organizations. Sadly, it was decided that, as no organization was in a position to lead the planning and execution, the Festival would be discontinued.
In the intervening years, resurrecting the Festival was a topic of conversation and wishful thinking. Several possibilities were suggested, and then Covid hit. A festival of the size and scope of past years was discussed a few years ago. With the uncertainties and instability the virus posed, a new venture was not reasonable.
In the fall of 2021, the Farmer’s Market, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Arts Commission, all organizations associated with Farmer’s Market and Constitution Square, noticed the increased interest in and success of arts, crafts, and arts related vendors at the weekly Farmer’s Market. Nationally, the pairing of local arts and local farming products at the community markets has been a growing trend for several years. The trend was holding true in Danville, Boyle County, and the surrounding area, even during Covid.
The organizers considered the risks of launching a festival when the future of the virus was unpredictable. With the continuing growth of weekly Farmer’s Market, eased guidance on health precautions in outdoor settings, and the commitment of the organizations all of which are currently housed in the park, the decision was made to move forward with a festival on the traditional middle weekend in September.
The format is scaled back from the original three day event to Saturday, September 17th from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Traditionally, the weekend was one of the most desirable on the state and regional festival calendar with artists making commitments very early in the calendar year. The organizers this year, are focusing on reconnecting with artists and drawing new local and regional artists. In addition, several growers and producers who are regular Farmer’s Market participants are staying for the full day.
Attendees will experience a variety of arts vendors, music, and food all day. There will be free activities for children. The Humane Society will have an information table on the grounds and the Danville Boyle County African American Historical Society will be set up in Grayson’s Tavern. The gift shop at the Convention and Visitors Bureau office will be open until 4 p.m.
Adding a colorful twist will be the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. The festival caught the attention of the folks at Oscar Meyer. At 24 hot dogs tall, 18 hot dogs wide and 60 hot dogs long, the Wienermobile is capable of storing 11,000 Wiener Whistles. Stop by to get your own. You can’t miss it, it will be parked along 2nd Street.
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