Monday, August 3, 2009

Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival

(more photos)

On Saturday, I returned to the scene of my last blog entry with a trip to the Park Ave. Fest. We spent hours there, which was easy to do since the festival covers a one-mile strip of Park Ave. with booths on both sides.

If you've never been, it's definitely worth a trip. The 300 artists offer work for sale that includes the cute, the beautiful, the kitschy, and the odd (example: paintings of various dog breeds sitting in martini glasses). You don't have to spend much to go home with a festival souvenir; I bought a package of blank gift tags in assorted colors for $1 and spent $4.50 on a rubber stamp.

Of course, besides browsing through the booths of art, you can EAT! Park Ave. offers typical fair/festival food like fried dough and kettle corn but also crepes from Simply Crepes, samosas from India House, and some healthy selections from Freshwise Kitchen, just to name a few. Next time, I just might have to try the chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick.

If you're hungry, you can also stop at one of the many restaurants lining the street. For a nice air-conditioned break, we had lunch at Hogan's Hideaway (after just a 5-minute wait to sit inside), which had a special -- meaning limited -- festival menu. Later on, we shopped at a very crowded Parkleigh and ordered gelato (hazelnut with chocolate sprinkles for me) at Roman Holiday Gelato.

About 30 bands and artists perform at the festival stages, which are set up throughout the street. We didn't stop for long at any of the stages, but I did visit the greyhounds from Greyhound Adoption of Greater Rochester, NY. If we didn't have four cats, I would seriously consider adopting one of their dogs!

TIP: Wear comfortable shoes! Also, parking at one of the shuttle lots is pretty convenient if you arrive early enough to nab a spot. We parked at Gleason Works and paid $1 for a round-trip shuttle, which I would do again.

NEARBY: Lots of places, festival or not!

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