ARCADIA — Coming off a record-breaking 10th anniversary year, Ashley for the Arts is well under way with renovations and planning for their annual three-day music and art festival. The non-profit event takes place August 8-10 and will host another star-studded lineup of musical entertainment as well as a variety of art and craft displays, food and family-friendly activities.
Sustaining continuous growth from 300 attendees in 2009, to more than 70,000 throughout the weekend last year, Ashley for the Arts is one of Wisconsin’s largest charity events. Last year, the event raised over $535,500 for more than 50 supported non-profit organizations. In addition to the picturesque backdrop of the event, the most desirable factor is the three-day admission of $15, drawing a fan base from all over the Midwest. Event parking is free and includes free bus shuttles to and from the grounds.
The small town of Arcadia comes to life for the weekend, welcoming guests and showcasing the scenic region. Memorial Park’s 54 acres are home to the festival. The park is known for its Soldier’s Walk, one of the premier war memorials in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C., a must-see while onsite.
This year’s Main Stage performances will include a diverse lineup comprised of award-winning Country, Pop, and Rock bands. Those featured include: Lady Antebellum, Brothers Osborne, 3 Doors Down, X Ambassadors, 38 Special, Mat Kearney, Billy Ray Cyrus, Morgan Evans and Chris Kroeze.
The festival will also feature a talented selection of musical performances on the Pavilion and Soldier’s Walk stages in between Main Stage performances, including SpaceHeaters, The Memories, Kari Lynch Band, LYGA, Raizin’ Kane, Johnny Holm Band and others.
There is also a variety of off-stage entertainment, including street performers, balloon artists, a 20th-century circus, silly stilt walkers, an interactive drum circle, a number of family fun activities, and an expanded selection of food and craft beer vendors.
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The parks’ ballfields will feature an Art & Craft Fair comprised of nearly 100 vendors (some even demonstrating their skills live), an interactive art space (offering a variety of art classes on a first come, first serve basis), and an air park (including bounce houses and obstacle courses).
Additional attractions found throughout the park will include a car show, a fireworks display and hot-air balloon launches.
Thursday’s festivities will feature the Pursuit of a Cure 5K run/walk and charity raffle, which raise money to advance medical research and help offset medical costs that patients incur. All funds raised will benefit the American Cancer Society, Rita Tranberg Memorial, and the Arcadia Ambulance Service. New to Thursday’s lineup are Painting in the Park, a canvas painting class, and Yoga in the Park, hosted by Devine Yoga.
Admission wristbands will be sold at participating Ashley HomeStores through Aug. 3 and will also be available at the gate August 8-10.