For the second year in a row, producer CherryArts has made changes to its centerpiece Cherry Creek Arts Festival due to coronavirus pandemic concerns ahead of the planned July event.
The juried festival, which typically draws artists and audiences from all over the region, will now take place Sept. 4-6, organizers said. The festival’s last showing, in 2019, boasted attendance of more than 330,000, but that was prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in late winter of last year.
In late April 2020, organizers canceled the summer event for the first time in memory — and right on the eve of its 30th anniversary. At the time, festival organizers also optimistically reserved July 2-4, 2021, for the event’s return while offering full refunds for booth fees — and the option of having juried artists who were approved for 2020 return the next year.
That won’t be the case this summer, organizers said in a Wednesday morning press statement, but there’s hope: Instead of holding the event in July, they’ve moved it back to Labor Day weekend, when state health and safety mandates will very likely be looser owing to COVID-19 vaccination rates and (hopefully) falling infection rates.
“To adhere to safe event practices from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including maintaining a safe attendance level through gating and conducting contact tracing, the 2021 event is relocating to the creekside area of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center,” organizers said. The area is across First Avenue — directly across from the festival’s usual staging area in the Cherry Creek North shopping district.
As a year-round nonprofit, CherryArts said it will bring back its Art Shop, “a virtual platform for supporting the work of Cherry Creek Arts Festival juried artists. … Every purchase directly supports the artists and CherryArts’ mobile arts education throughout Colorado.”
Visit cherryarts.org for information about community initiatives and programs, or to donate to support artists and ongoing arts education programming.
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