Houghton Art and Music Festival

HOUGHTON – While the Copper Country may not be the epicenter of art and culture, there is certainly enough around here to keep even the most art-minded person busy. This Saturday is just another example of that with the Houghton Art and Music Festival.

The festival is currently in its 12th year of operation. Its start, though, begins with former Michigan Technological University Student Ken Thiemann.

“(He) wanted to do something to celebrate spring in Houghton,” said Cynthia Cote, executive director of the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock. “Just promote life in downtown Houghton through the arts.”

The CCCAC was involved with it from the beginning when it agreed to be a partner in the event and help with the art fair portion of it. After Thiemann graduated, the festival was put in the hands of the CCCAC.

At the event, people can expect a great deal of different activities.

“There will be a full day of music. There’s a nice line-up starting at noon.” Cote said. “We selected a variety of music that people can enjoy so that we’re sure to please all kinds of audiences. We have some jazz and folk music and blues – just a full range.”

There will also be plenty of art available.

“I think we have close to 30 booths and each booth is run by an individual artist,” Cote said. “We have stained glass, pottery, painting and a lot of artists will be demonstrating. It’s an opportunity to learn a little bit more about art, as well.”

There’s also an art activities tent where kids of all ages will be able to participate.

“It’s different things like mask making and painting and chalk drawing,” Cote said. “Just lots of ways to express yourself and have a great time.”

There will also be a Frog Hop Scavenger Hunt. 13 different businesses are participating and people will be able to pick up a card either at those businesses or at the festival. Participants will visit the businesses to get a stamp and then when the card is filled up it can be entered into a drawing for prizes. A lot of the prizes are gift cards.

“You can go back and shop at those really nice stores that are supporting the festival,” Cote said.

Another event is the bike parade that will be held at 2 p.m. on the parking deck. From 1 to 2 p.m. participants can decorate their bike.

One of the reasons Cote thinks people should come check out the festival is because it’s downtown Houghton.

“It’s such a nice place to be,” she said. “It’s all nearby. We’ve positioned the fair on the parking deck so it’s really close to all the downtown businesses. So people can take advantage of what there is to see and do.”

According to Cote, people are really looking forward to the event, especially since it wasn’t held last year due to FinnFest.

“The community was consumed with FinnFest. It took everybody’s energy to support that huge event,” Cote said. “People are really looking forward to it coming back.”

The Houghton Art and Music Festival begins at noon Saturday and goes until 7 p.m. and will be held on the upper parking deck in downtown Houghton.