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Art Hop Returns to City of Banning

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By Cindy Watson –

Spring is in the air and so are plans for the Sixth Annual Art Hop, May 7, beginning at 10am to 5pm to be held in the heart of downtown Banning.

The Art Hop is the Banning Cultural Alliance's signature event that features local galleries, children’s craft workshops, free arts and crafts, along with vendor booths filled with artists and their works; merchandise, food and participating community based organizations. The event is free to the public with live entertainment throughout the venue.

Volunteers and sponsors are still needed for the event the reportedly had over three thousand people in attendance last year.

The committee is seeking volunteers to work at the event, Artists to demonstrate their talents and vendors from a variety of fields.

Last week’s committee meeting created a great deal of excitement as volunteers came together, including Banning’s Mayor Barbara Hanna and Heidi Meraz of the city’s park and recreation department to discuss plans and progress for the event.

The now somewhat infamous yellow Volkswagen Beetle will be on hand at this years event according to Meraz, so that young and old alike can try there hand at some artistic detailing.

Local artist Paul “Bear” Bradford will be on hand with his pottery wagon, sponsored by the Alliance, so that people can enjoy creating their own pottery pieces to keep and take home. Bradford wagon is always popular at local events where he teaches event goers how to use clay and the potter wheel as he demonstrates his expert talent and skills.

Numerous free arts and crafts are expected as organizations and vendors continue to sign up for the event.

“I am looking forward to this year’s event," said event coordinator Michelle Williams. "This year promises to be another fun-filled event with something for the entire family,” she added.

Organizers are expecting the event that takes place in the heart of downtown Banning at Ramsey Street and San Gorgonio Avenue, to double in size and attendance this year.

To become an event sponsor, volunteer or, to help on the committee or to participate as an artist, vendor or to market your business or non-profit organization download vendor applications at www.BanningCulturalAllianc e.org or call Williams at 951- 922-4911.

There is also a non-profit special rate for vendors and there is still time for an early bird vendor package that includes a special half off booth price if you register before 4/1/11.

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