The 45th annual Long's Park Art Festival returns Labor Day weekend; here's what you need to know
Royce Yoder, of Lederach, PA, right, shows his work to the attendees during the Long’s Park Art Festival in Lancaster Sunday Sept. 4, 2022.
More than 200 nationally acclaimed juried artists will bring their creations to Long’s Park Labor Day Weekend for the 45th annual Long’s Park Art Festival.
The festival runs Friday through Sunday at the park at 1441 Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s festival.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1 and 2 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 3.
Attendees have the option of purchasing single-day or three-day tickets for the art festival. One-day tickets are $15 per person; three-day tickets are $25. Tickets will be available at the gate or in advance at longspark.org/buy-tickets.
Admission is free for people under the age of 18. Rick Faulkner, the festival’s artistic director, says it is a great event for kids.
“We have one artist who does wonderful stuffed toys,” Faulkner says. “Anything from small animals up to 5-foot-tall stuffed bears. The little kids always have a smile when they visit Tom & Lucy Moore’s booth.”
Only certified service animals are allowed in the festival area, so please leave other pets at home.
Parking is available at the park, for no extra cost. There is also parking available at Park City Center in the northeast corner of the Park City parking lot, with a paved walkway that goes under Route 30 and into the park.
There will be three pub areas within the festival where of-age adults can purchase wine and craft beer. Plentiful food trucks will be on site, including Kona Ice, Lickety Split Ice Cream, Traveling J’s, Chella’s Harvey’s BBQ, Nano’s Grill and more.
What: The 45th annual Long’s Park Art Festival.
When: Friday through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Long’s Park, 1441 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster.
Cost: $15 for one day, $25 for the weekend. Attendees under age 18 are free.
More info: longspark.org.
Part of the reason the Long’s Park Art Festival is held for three days is that there are more than 200 artists to see in 22 categories, including ceramics, wearable fiber, functional art, furniture, glass, jewelry, acrylic and oil painting, photography, sculpture, woodworking and more.
Because it’s a juried show, only the most impressive artists are selected. More than 600 artists apply to be in the show and only 200 artists are accepted.
“We use a group of six artists to jury the show, all of our jurors have been past exhibitors at Long’s Park,” Faulkner says. “Each year it is a different group of jurors choosing the artists. These jurors understand the level of artist that we are looking for and it has worked to consistently bring a great show to Lancaster.”
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The jurors for the 2023 Long’s Park Art Festival are knife maker Michael Merriman of North Carolina, painter Heather Lynn Gibson of New Jersey, jewelry designer Debra Adams of New York, ceramics artist Reiko Uchytil of Iowa, photographer Paul Grecian of Bucks County, and mixed media artist Nancy Barch of Delaware County.
The 200 accepted artists come from 30 states as far as Maine, Florida and California. About 20 of the artists are from central Pennsylvania.
The first Long’s Park Art Festival was started by the late Richard Faulkner — father of current artistic director, Rick Faulkner.
Richard Faulkner was an engineer with RCA, who had worked on the team that developed the first color picture tube.
The first festival was held on July 4, 1976, as part of the Lancaster County Bicentennial Committee’s celebration. It ended up on NBC’s national coverage that day.
A few years later, in 1979, Richard Faulkner was approached by the park’s superintendent, Morris Ressel, who worked on the bicentennial show. He was looking for ways to fundraise for the Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation and suggested trying another art show.
Richard Faulkner, a supporter of the arts, wanted to build a national-level show by bringing an elevated caliber of artists to town. So, an art festival was held in the park on Labor Day weekend in 1979, and the rest is (art) history.
Rick Faulkner was involved with helping his father run the first event and continued to be involved for a number of years. After a break, Rick Faulkner is now is back at the Long’s Park Art Festival.
The Long’s Park Art Festival is the main fundraiser for the Long’s Park Summer Music Series in the park, which offers free summer concerts all summer. By, supporting the arts festival, visitors are supporting the free summer music concerts and supporting the park’s maintenance.
The 44th annual Long’s Park Art Festival in September 2022.
While the show does tend to get busy, its setup aims to keep guest experience in mind. The artist’s booths are all spaced out around the lake with extra space between each booth in order to avoid over-crowding. For those who want to avoid the biggest crowds, Faulkner notes that mornings tend to be busier than later in the day. Sunday morning is the least crowded of the mornings, he says.
Be sure to check out the Raffle Art Gallery, too.
“Many of the exhibiting artists donate a piece of their art for our raffle,” Faulkner says.
Patrons can purchase raffle tickets for specific art works with the chance to win them. The Raffle Art Gallery is set up in a gallery space at Pavilion 1 near the entrance of the show. All of the proceeds from the raffle support the programming of the Amphitheater Foundation.
There is also an emerging artist program. Seven of the exhibitors are in the early stages of their career as an exhibiting artist. Some are young artists and some of them are older making a career change. The emerging artists are grouped together in the middle of the show. This feature offers an opportunity to purchase art before the artists get famous — and before the prices of their work rise as a result.
Whether you gravitate toward work of an emerging or established artist, Faulkner believes it’s a festival worth attending.
“The mix of artists, styles, price points and the level of artistic expertise makes it unique,” Faulkner says. “Also, the setting in the park is beautiful and the art is spaced out and displayed for all to see.”
And, a festival of that magnitude takes a lot of manpower.
“Besides all of the wonderful art, we have about 200 volunteers who come out and help put the festival together,” Faulkner says. “Join us.”
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