Despite her efforts, Mother Nature wrecked little, if any, havoc on Michigan City's Lubeznik Center for the Arts' 2011 Lakefront Art Festival.
"Last year, we had rain, heavy downpours, on Saturday morning," said Lubeznik Center executive director Carolyn Saxton. "It was disappointing for us and for the artists, but it was interesting to see the number of people who still came out regardless."
Between 6,500 and 7,000 attendees are expected to turn out for this year's Lakefront Art Festival, which Kicks off 10 a.m. Saturday and wraps up 5 p.m. Sunday at Michigan City's Washington Park.
The festival is celebrating its 31st annual running this year.
Approximately 170 artists submitted their works to be featured, Saxton said. Of those, a panel of jurors selected a little more than 100 artists, both locally and from as far away as Texas, Oregon and Florida. Saxton estimated that 60 percent of the participating artists have previously occupied tent space at Washington Park in the past.
While the Lubeznik Center has hosted their festival for more than three decades now, Saxton and her staff continue to marvel at the diversity and quality of the art exhibited and for sale with each passing year.
"It's been an exciting opportunity for all of us to watch this continue to grow and gain recognition throughout the region," she said. "We're seeing several more fine art artists participating this year, and that might be with painting or sculpture, and we're continuing to see growth in wearable art, and that includes jewelry and different types of items that men or women can wear."
In addition to the art, more than a half dozen food vendors will be on hand at this year's festival. Additionally, Saxton is encouraging festival goers to park off the Washington Park grounds and use their free shuttle services. Free parking is available at several Michigan City venues, including the Lubeznik Center, Lighthouse Outlet Mall and the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce.
"People can come to the park and have something to eat and peruse the festival artistry and have a real nice afternoon," Saxton said.
Proceeds from the festival will go to funding Lubeznik Center's exhibits, outreach and education programs.