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Art Hop 2011 Event in Banning To Be Biggest Yet

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By Cindy Watson –

More art exhibits, three entertainment venues, treasure hunting, doggie artwork, the recycling faire and more are all expected to help create the largest Banning Cultural Alliance’s Art Hop to date, on May 7, in downtown Banning.

The Art Hop is an annual festival held in downtown Banning featuring the talents of local and nationally acclaimed artists. If you are an art collector or just want to enjoy yourself you will find the streets of Banning filled with something for the whole family to enjoy.

New to this year's event: the treasure hunting, geo-caching craze; wood working as an art form, including furniture and the building of a little red school house; a Gift of Life Blood Drive, quilting and the City of Banning’s somewhat infamous, yellow Volkswagen Beetle, ready for a new paint job; along with some well painted classic cars and monster trucks.

Returning to this year’s event are Bark n’ Art , FREE children’s arts n’ crafts, art, pottery, basketry and other demonstrations, Plein Aire artists, the Pass area artists competition, the Dorothy Ramon Learning center, Audrey Ruttan as Charlie Chaplain, local gallery exhibits, along with vendor booths that will be filled with artists, merchandise, food, participating community based organizations. This is one event where man’s best friend is welcome to attend.

Returning to the event with over 15 vendors focused on man’s best friend and other critters with pet clothes, treats and more is Bark N Art including pet adoptions and Doggie paintings.

“Last year we partnered to include the Recycling Fair and the council chambers of City Hall for additional exhibits, said Williams. “This year the event has been expanded by three city blocks,” she added explaining how the event will travel West on Hays Street to the Banning Woman’s Club building.

The Art Hop is the Alliance's signature event.

“I am looking forward to this year’s event," said Williams, event coordinator. "This year promises to be another fun-filled event with something for the entire family,” she added about the event that usually brings in well over three thousand visitors to the downtown area.

Three music venues including two stages filled with live entertainment and the Kola 99.9 prize caravan.

The Art Hop will spot light 2 stages filled with live entertainment from 10 am to 6 pm.

Music and live performances including Mobetta Loretta, the 2006 folk rock artist of the year, Bands Inside Straight, featuring country, rock n roll and oldies and Rod Tankerson and the Band of Peace, with their Christian, Indie and Jazz genres, Other performers include Zelyne Ruldolph, Gerald Gaines, Lila Bloom the Redlands Jazz Kids Al l Stars, The Place Performance Coop and Solera Country Kickers.

Top Ten performers, including bands Breath for Tomorrow, Peace of Mind and performers Brandon Williams, Reckless Tragedy, Kaylee Daugherty, Cory Dobbins, Mickey Williams, Citra Benhar, Roy Limon, Judah Ruiz, Emily Escalente and more. You can also learn to Zumba and join in the fun of the Zydeco dance.

Ding Masters Collision Center in Banning, will join the Art Hop with their custom 2000 Ford Excursion their well known Velociraptor and another tall monster truck.

Other vehicles worth a look at will be the Sun lakes Car Club’s classic vehicles and the Fire Inc’ s Hammer brothers will be there along with a couple of their vintage fire trucks.

According to Williams the event continues to expand each year and this will include an international treasure hunting craze called Geocaching.

A Geocaching class will be offered during the event in the City Council Chambers at 1:00 and 3:00 PM. Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online.

Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. Organizers are expecting over fifty new caches to be placed along with the hundreds already to be found in the Pass area by the event date. The new ones will be held and posted on the website that morning.

Also new to the Art Hop this year will be woodworking, including furniture pieces by internationally known artist, wood craftsman Sam Maloof and the works of Pepe Hernandez, who will exhibit "art for art," picture frames of wood.

Another part of the indoor exhibit will be animal sculptures from Mexico and turned wood bowls from the American south.

During the event an actual playhouse by framers from Try-Con Development will be built in the style of a "Little Red Schoolhouse." Along with these displays you will find the Dorothy Ramon Learning with a full day of excitement for their sixth return to the Art Hop. The center’s fun includes: storytelling, singing, a movie about traditional music, pottery and basketry demos, Serrano Indian toys, toy making and tools; native plant demos, including the steps for making an acorn dish that once was a food staple called wewish.

Youths will have the opportunity to make a toy, corn husk dragonfly, flute and their own mini basket.

At the East corner of the event; in the parking lot of Police station at the corner of Hays and Murray streets, the Recycling Fair is brought to you by the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), in partnership with the City of Banning and Waste Management.

“The Recycling Fair is designed to inspire the public,” according to WRCOG officials and will include a drive up electronic waste drop off station, where you can drop off old cell phones, televisions, stereos, computers and monitors; VCR and DVD players; along with other electronic devices.

Displaying "Recycled Robots," will be Mrs. Geelan's class of first Graders,from Hoffer Elementary.

The Class also learn about Georgia O'Keefe and her floral paintings and created their own versions of Georgia O'Keefeinspired watercolor and ink creations that will be on display at the Super Sub Plus shop, located downtown.

Other students returning to the event will be the students of Jerry Bailey of Banning High School, with an even larger exhibit of their artwork in different mediums, on display in the council chamber of City Hall.

Students over age 15 and others in attendance may chose to take the time to give the gift of life during the event at the LifeStream mobile unit. Parental consent forms are available at the event.

Although there are numerous booths and participants offering free fun things to do and see, you will want to bring your pocketbook, for the numerous food vendors and shopping opportunities that will line the streets of the Art Hop, while you enjoy the free entertainment.

Come enjoy at the Art Hop open free to the public Saturday, May 7, in downtown Banning. Take the I-10 to Banning,exit 8th Street follow the event signs.

The Art Hop is an activity of the Banning Cultural Alliance and is also sponsored by The Bank of Hemet, City of Banning and WRCOG.

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