Chautauqua Festival of Art
of the citys largest event
prepare for a big year
year's event is set for Sept. 27-28
(September 2008) Plans for the 38th
annual Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art are on schedule for
another big year, according to festival coordinator Georgie
Kelly. The two-day event, Madisons largest festival at
an estimated 50,000 people, is scheduled for Sept 27-28. Booths
are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and include a riverfront
food court, childrens activity tent, live entertainment,
roving entertainers and a Saturday night outdoor concert by
The Doctors Band at the Broadway Fountain.
The show features nearly 300 juried artisans who set up on the
streets of downtown Madison between Poplar and Vine streets.
by Don Ward
fall weather draws a crowd
each year at the Madison Chautauqua,
held in the downtown historic district.
Many exhibitors return each year, but Kelly said
she likes to have some new exhibitors to keep the show
She reported a 75 percent return rate among exhibitors from
last year, compared to the national average of 65 percent. Last
years Chautauqua exhibitors were offered a discount if
they re-signed at the termination of last years festival.
Its good to have returning exhibitors because many
people like to collect items from certain artists or to see
their favorite exhibitors each year, she said.
Kelly, who is paid $24,500 to organize and run the festival,
is working toward a goal of raising $9,000 in local business
sponsorships. The money helps the committee offset its cost
to run the show.
Kelly said local graphic designer Troy Seel has designed the
T-shirt logo, and Madison artist Bill Borden has created the
limited edition poster, which will be revealed in mid-September.
His design features the Jefferson County Courthouse. Only 250
limited edition posters are produced each year, selling for
$45 each. They will become available at a poster signing event,
scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at Madison City Hall.
Borden is working with the Chautauqua Committee to create a
building mural in downtown Madison to mark next years
Madison Bicentennial event (see story, page 21).
This years Saturday night concert by The Doctors
Band is scheduled for 7 p.m. The concert is free.
Each year, the Madison Chautauqua coincides with the annual
Old Court Days, a flea market and arts and crafts fair organized
by the nonprofit Pilot Club of Madison. That event takes place
around the Jefferson County Courthouse and extends to the city
parking lot on Second and Jefferson streets. Old Court Days
is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
The annual Book Sale at the Madison-Jefferson County Public
Library also takes place that weekend at 420 W. Main St. Sponsored
by the Friends of the Library group, the event is a fund raiser
for library projects and features books, magazines, videotapes,
CDs and other literature for sale, some new and some used.
A fourth event held that weekend in downtown Madison is Lanthier
Winerys Harvest Celebration, held on the grounds of the
winery at 123 Mill St. Various other churches, fire departments
and nonprofit organizations hold bakes sales, fish fries and
yard sales during Chautauqua weekend to take advantage of the
large crowd visiting downtown Madison.
Both the Madison Trolley and the citys Catch-A-Ride van
transportation service operate throughout the weekend, ferrying
visitors to and from these events, the city campground, marinas
and the Chautauqua designated parking lot on the hilltop at
the Madison Consolidated High School.