Art Immersion



Break out your cargo shorts — festival season is here. On May 31 and June 1, the Mateel Community Center will transform the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area into a four-staged, vendor-filled celebration of all things cultural and crafty. The 38th annual Summer Arts and Music Festival ($15 per day, $25 for the weekend, free for kids under 12) features over 100 performers, including The Pimps of Joytime, Berel Alexander, The Lyndsey Battle Trio and more. There's a genre for everybody, from jazz to funk. There's even a youth stage featuring clowns and circus acts for the kids in attendance.

The music should be enough to draw you to SoHum, but the festivities go farther with more than 150 vendors selling their wares and sharing their skills, including art, jewelry and chair massages. There's a zone dedicated to kids with a bouncy house, activity tent and circus lessons. If you're jealous of the bouncy house (sometimes being an adult is the worst), take comfort in the multiple booze stands and food booths. The gates open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on both days, so you'll have plenty of time to absorb the art and music.

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