With spring in full bloom, Cherry Hill is gearing up to showcase all the best that our community has to offer. From April 26 to May 10, our community will once again host Art Blooms, the Township’s annual celebration of art, culture and sustainability on the grounds of historic Croft Farm!
Art Blooms kicks off on Saturday, April 26 with the 5th annual Art Blooms Earth Festival, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each year, rain or shine, the festival attracts thousands of area residents to celebrate Earth Day and soak up the variety of arts, culture, local food, health and wellness, and environmental knowledge that will be on display.
The day begins at 8 a.m. with a family-fun bike ride at Challenge Grove Park, featuring both a two- and nine-mile route. All residents 8 years of age and older are invited to ride along with Councilman Jim Bannar – remember that helmets are mandatory!
The Festival itself will feature more than 90 displays, vendors, and activities, along with an e-waste recycling collection, live entertainment, healthy food choices, a Phillie Phanatic appearance and more.
Admission is free, but we encourage guests to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Cherry Hill Food Pantry.
This annual event is a collaboration between Cherry Hill Township and Sustainable Cherry Hill, a 501c3 non-profit organization, to educate the community about environmental issues and sustainability while promoting local arts and culture in a way that is affordable and accessible to everyone.
New this year is an Ambassador Corps of volunteers, many of whom are Cherry Hill high school students completing community service hours. More than 60 people will donate their time from early morning until festival clean-up, to assist with vendor set-up, welcome visitors, encourage proper waste disposal and recycling and work on the stage crew. The Sustainable Cherry Hill executive board will welcome visitors to contribute to a large display and create a ‘post-it’ declaring “One Thing” they hope for in protecting and preserving the environment.
The festival’s artist-in-residence, Caley Vickerman, a leader of “Guerilla Haiku,” will lead guests in creating an Earth Festival haiku clothesline display and a black-top area for chalk haiku art. Other displays include free seed planting, crafts and other items for purchase made from recycled or repurposed goods, school-based sustainability projects, and information on energy conservation for homes and small businesses.
Live entertainment will flow throughout the day, featuring students from Mann, Kingston, Rosa, and Carusi schools, as well as professional performers The DG Band, Little Stevie and his Electric Mojo, Haley Alexandra, RC Rosell, The Cherry Hill Pine Barons Barbershop Chorus and demonstrations from Kobukan Karate, Dance Arts Cherry Hill, Kempo Family Fitness and Happy Feet Dance Studio. The Phillie Phanatic goes “green” on the festival grounds at about 1 p.m.
Other festival events include:
• E-Force electronics recycling drop-off for almost anything with a plug (no TVs; glass monitors; large appliances)
• Recycling: shoes, sneakers, hangers, plastic shopping bags, batteries
• Plant exchange and free compost pickup
• A moon bounce, face-painting, carnival games and other family-friendly fun
• Healthy food selections from Chimp Aid Café and J-Dogs
Full event details are available at www.sustainablecherryhill.org. The festival is made possible in part by generous presenting sponsors: Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, LourdesCare of Cherry Hill and Ravitz Family Foundation; Leadership sponsors include: Sustainable Camden County, Investors Bank, M. Rosenblatt Roofing and Flaster Greenberg.
There is, of course, much more to Art Blooms than just the Earth Festival. The all-volunteer Cherry Hill Arts Board and our Recreation Department work together to plan a variety of cultural events that will appeal to every member of your family.
Throughout its two-week run, visit the Croft Farm Arts Center for the Art Blooms Juried Art Exhibit, featuring original two-dimensional works by local artists. The Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 26, 1 to 7 p.m. from April 28 through May 1, and from 1 to 7 p.m. May 5-9.
All Art Blooms events take place at Croft Farm. Other events scheduled to run through May 10 include:
• Luncheon with the Arts for Seniors featuring “Mona Lisa Smile,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 2. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door.
• Mad Hatter Tea Party, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 3. $15 for 2 tickets; $5 each additional person.
• Ensemble Concert: The Great Italians, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors with a Gold Card, or $5 for students.
• The Luck Brothers blues, soul and classic rock, 7-9 p.m. Saturday, May 10. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door.
For more information on any event, call (856) 488-7868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a full description of these events, visit the Cherry Hill Arts Board blog at http://cherryhillarts.blogspot.com.