A triumphant return: Arts festival brings back music, light show and more in 2019


BURRILLVILLE – An event with a more than 50 year history in Burrillville will return next week with two days of attractions, bringing an impressive array of vendors, music and entertainment, along with a laser light show to the Assembly Theatre.

The Burrillville Arts Festival is back in 2019 after a one year hiatus, and better than ever, according to Chairperson Veronica Huguenin.

The event aims to promote arts in the community by showcasing local talent and this year, it has attracted new participants. 

“We have a lot of new and exciting things happening that will be new to the event,” Huguenin said.

In addition to the usual lineup of live music and vendors, this year’s festival will include interactive displays, bounce houses, a scavenger hunt and more.

The family-friendly event,  a tradition in Burrillville going back some five decades, was cancelled in 2018 as organizers worked to secure more funding and volunteers.

It was the second gap in the popular festival’s history. The event was not renewed in 2008 and Huguenin, who previously had participated at a vendor, brought it back in 2014. The Burrillville Arts and Crafts Festival grew under her leadership into the two-day event people have come to appreciate, featuring local music, a full food court, more than 75 vendors and unique kids’ activities.

When she cancelled the festival last year, many responded on social media with offers to help bring it back.

Huguenin has been hard at work since creating the new lineup.

Live entertainment on Saturday, Sept. 14 will include comedic performance artist Granny Grue, debuting a new character, and headliners Generations Unlimited and Jailbreak, leading into the laser light show.

Entertainment on Sunday, Sept. 15 will include a local ventriloquist and an acoustic performance by Paul Juneau.

Among the vendors participating are Giovanni’s rentals, bringing bounce houses to the field at Levy School for the weekend. Burrillville Rocks will offer rock painting for the kids and adults, along with a “Where’s Waldo” rock scavenger hunt.

There will be plenty of food and treats as well, with Moosemans Kettle Corn on site offering more than 70 flavors, along with Alien Ice Cream and Johnny’s Victory Diner.

Premier Martial Arts will be there on Saturday doing demonstrations, and will have an interactive booth set up for the day, where patrons can go and take part and learn about Martial Arts.

On Sunday, Mastery Martial Arts will take over the role, and at Levy School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., touch-a-truck will be added to the mix.

Hours for most of the 100 vendors – displaying original crafts and works of art – will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

And the Saturday night laser light show is always a major highlight, attracting crowds of spectators. The show takes place behind the theater at the stage area, starting between 8 and 8:30 p.m.

“We recommend getting there early to get the best spots,” said Huguenin.

It’s all part of an effort to both support local art and build town fellowship.

“Being a small town, it allows the community to come together,” said Huguenin. “The community looks forward to the event each year.”

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