Dighton — Art, music, food and wine were provided, all guests had to bring to the Dighton Arts Festival Sunday were their senses and an appreciation for community.
For one day, the staff at Araujo’s Garden Center clear away garden tools and plants so five of their greenhouses can accommodate hand-crafted jewelry, photography, hand-crafted wooden furniture, hand-made glassware, paintings and children’s artwork for the event sponsored by the Dighton Lions Club.
Now in its fourth year, the community event created by Bob Mullen and Carl Stonstrom draws hundreds. Mullen said of the 40 vendors participating this year, 21 are returning from last year.
“We’ve fine-tuned the vendors this year, a bit,” said Mullen. “They’re more high end. And, we’re trying to keep it local.”
He said with hotdogs, hamburgers and other foods all $2 at the most, the event wasn’t about making money, but bringing the community together.
Another unique aspect to this particular festival is the attention given to pieces created by students at the Dighton Nursery School, and Dighton and Reboboth elementary and middle schools. “I can see it, I can feel it,” Stonstrom said. “It’s not about the money, but family, culture and kids.”
Michael Troy and Barry Brown, Sam Ruest and MIke Keshura and Johnny Botelho were some of the names that made up the music selections. Locals favorites also included Mia Boostrom, Matt and Sarah Borrello, Kara and Alex Fortier and Maira Ventura.
Outside on the Araujo’s grounds, students from the Dighton Elementary School performed a folk dance demonstration with antique tractors on display next door.
One of the students’ displays was the Dighton Nursey School’s version of a rain forest, named “Spirit of the Rain Forest.”
Teacher Caryle Stonstrom said part of the learning is for the students to create artwork to go with whatever theme they’re learning about. The 8-foot long rainforest creation was created by the 4 and 5-year-olds.
“They learned about the different tiers in a rain forest, the masks worn by different tribes and what types of things live in a rain forest,” Stonstrom said. “It was done as a family, group and individual project.”
Lee Ann Simmons, manager of Araujo’s, wished the event ran for two days. “I love bringing the community together,” she said.
Debbie Simcock and her mother-in-law Theresa came from Swansea to enjoy the day. They come to Araujo’s on a regular basis, but this was their first time attending the art festival.
“I really enjoyed watching the kids square dance out there earlier,” said Debbie. “That is so lost on people now-a-days.”
Reprinted with permission, courtesy of the Taunton Gazette