AUXVASSE — The 12th annual Ashley Garrett Memorial Children's Art Festival is this Saturday.
At the family event organized by the Auxvasse Creative Art Program, children enjoy free arts and crafts activities, live music, food and other activities. There is no charge to attend the event, scheduled 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for Domann Park (305 S. Elm St. in Auxvasse).
ACAP and the children's art festival were established in memory of Ashley O'Donley Garrett. A former Auxvasse resident, artist and daycare operator in Fulton, she saw the potential in every child and loved to use art to bring out creativity, joy and beauty. She passed away in a car accident.
"First and foremost, we're keeping it going in memory of my sister and what she believed in as far as the power/potential of art to lift kids up and help them see the world differently," said Jennifer O'Donley, co-founder of the event. "Once we started doing it, it's really been wonderfully embraced by the community, we feel. It's been a real pleasure to see how much the kids enjoy it and how a simple thing can bring some light into the day."
The first 150 children at the event will receive a free tote bag. Each child will also receive a free lunch from Rollin' Smoke BBQ, ice cream and a free book (while supplies last) donated by Scholastic. Live music will be performed by Tanner Bryce Jones, of the Comancheros.
"All are welcome and there's no cost," O'Donley said. "It's important to us that there's no haves and have-nots."
Local organizations and businesses participating with an activity at the festival will include Central Bank, Girl Scouts of Missouri Heartland, North Callaway Parents as Teachers/T-Bird Learning Center and Daniel Boone Regional Library. This year's theme is fantasy land.
"Central Bank will be having ceramic piggy banks for the kids to decorate," O'Donley said. "We'll have some thumbprint art, the kids will be making magnets, they'll get to create their own flags."
Core sponsors for the event include Moser's, Gary Barcak, Garrett Painting, The Ovid Bell Press, CatchPhrase Communications and Buckshot Saloon Homestyle Cooking & BBQ.
Workshop sponsors include Graham Insurance, United Security Bank, Callaway Bank, Baumgartner's Furniture, Bell Bros. Trucking, Boyd & Boyd, Doc Kritzer, Foster Brothers Wood Products, Kingdom Telephone Company, Sydenstricker's, Crane's Store, the Schwab Family, and Dennis and Kathy Shramek. Patron sponsors include Nelson and Diana Wolfmeier, Kent and Lori Deimeke, and Straight Arrow Construction.
Find the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program at facebook.com/AuxvasseCreativeArtsProgram.