“Upgraded” Arts & Music Festival set to go

By Meg Olson

With new dates and a new location, organizers of the Point Roberts Arts and Music Festival expect to deliver a more polished event for the festival’s 21st year.

“Partnering with the marina really lets us upgrade the event,” said vendor coordinator Gail Pueyo.

The two days of music, art and dance will take place in the grassy area adjacent to the marina building on September 3 and 4 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

With two stages set up, “It will be an ongoing continuous live entertainment,” Pueyo said, rather than the audience needing to wait between acts. Performers offer a wide range of styles, from classical
to alternative.

Starting off with the Kelley ukulele group, Saturday’s highlights include Craig Jacks and the Jackalopes alternative country, the Los Gitanos flamenco dance troupe and jazz/pop standards with former Vancouver Symphony trumpeter Ray Kirkham and friends. The Point Roberts Winds will start the lineup on Sunday, followed by Nashville recording artist Delaney Rose, the Eire Born Irish Dancers, Las Vegas-acclaimed Jeffrey Elvis and eclectic world/folk songwriter Bocephus King.

A new addition this year will be the festival’s talent search, which will run in slots on both days. Contestants can sign up at stars@pointrobertsmarina.com, but can also join in during the festival.

“We’d like you to contact us to help us plan better but the mic will be open too,” said entertainment coordinator Craig Jacks. “We always get a lot of people who come up and want to get on stage and this is an opportunity for them. We think this could make it into a more open and fun-filled family event.”

The contest finale and awards will be at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a grand finale featuring festival headliners.

A first in the festival’s history, the marina and the Compass Rose Restaurant will host a beer garden as well as a barbecue. Other food vendors will offer ice cream, Hawaiian shaved ice and kettle corn. Auntie Pam’s Country Store will join visiting vendors, including those selling native art, collectibles and gemstone jewelry.

“We will also have fun stuff for the kids,” Pueyo said. Local organizations, including Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness and the Point Roberts fire department, will also participate.

Jacks and Pueyo said the festival this year relied only on local sponsorship, after longtime sponsor Westshore Terminals withdrew its support. “The local businesses really stepped up to the plate,” Jacks said. Top sponsors were Nordic Construction, Point Roberts Marina, TSB Shipping, Valero, Nielson’s Building Center and the Cottages at Seabright Farms.

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