This weekend, an annual Troy tradition will be taking over downtown Troy.
TroyFest, a festival where artists and food vendors sell their products in various booths, will be held this weekend on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, at the Square in downtown Troy.
TroyFest is a festival held in honor of the late Jean Lake, a Troy native and award-winning artist, who passed away in 1976. The festival started as the Jean Lake Memorial Art Show, which was held at the Pike Pioneer Museum in 1982.
TroyFest had a kickoff event on Monday, April 23, and included performances by The Southeast Alabama Community Band and Troy University’s student American popular music ensemble, POPulus.
Morgan Drinkard, the co-chair of the event, is also a lecturer of journalism at Troy.
“We’re looking forward to the 16th annual TroyFest Art and Crafts Festival held in memory of Jean Lake,” said Drinkard. “It’s just to promote arts in our community.
“We have more than 85 artists for this year’s festival. Our artist categories range from pottery and jewelry to painting and woodwork and sculpture and tradition craft.”
In 2003, the show moved to its current downtown location and was renamed “TroyFest.” Admission was open and free to the public, and more artists and vendors participated than in past years, according to the website.
“The weekend-long show draws upwards of 10,000 people to downtown Troy to celebrate the arts,” states the TroyFest website. “As always, a wonderful selection of art, food, entertainment and activities will be offered for people of all ages.”
In addition to food and artwork, various entertainment acts will be presented free to the public. These entertainment acts include performances from local church groups and dance studios.
While the festival has a lot of community involvement, the students and faculty at Troy also heavily interact with the event.
Payton Buchin, a senior theater education major from Dothan, lives in downtown Troy and, despite the traffic, said TroyFest is an important event for the community.
“I’ve gone to TroyFest the last four years, and I love it,” said Buchin. “It’s so great to see local artists getting to show off and sell their stuff.”
Buchin said there has been “something for everybody” at the festival each year she has attended.
“I think the variety of goods is what makes the festival so unique,” she said. “Every artist has something original and one-of-a-kind.”
Festival hours this weekend are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and art and food vendors will be selling goods at the event. Volunteer applications can be found on TroyFestArts.com.