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Ohio Magazine readers honor Black Swamp Arts Festival

The readers of Ohio Magazine have voted the Black Swamp Arts Festival the best art festival/fair in the state.

The poll results appear in the January edition of the magazine.

“It’s great that it’s a reader appreciation award, a community-based reaction, to what we’ve done,” said Todd Ahrens, who chairs the festival committee. “It’s good for the committee to have validation that the work we do as volunteers has meaning to the community. Bringing arts and the community together – that’s what the festival has been about since the beginning”

The 2017 festival, the event’s 25th year, will be staged in downtown Bowling Green Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept.  10

The festival features musicians from around the world, including Grammy winners and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, more than 200 exhibitors in three art shows, arts activities for children, and a range of food and
beverage offerings.

The annual festival attracts about 60,000 visitors to downtown Bowling Green.

That diversity of offerings is what sets the festival apart, Ahrens said. “We offer visual and performing arts… and then have this youth arts area that blows people away.”

Chalk Walk, street art competition for high school students, has added another dimension in recent years, Ahrens said.   “We continue to find ways to make it something for everybody,” he said.

The festival also features a beer garden and a variety of food vendors.

The committee has quietly launched a drive to set up an endowment through the Bowling Green Community Foundation with a goal of raising $25,000 in its 25th year.

This is not the first time the festival has been honored by the magazine. The festival was voted into the top spot in 2014.

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