Popular arts festival Bowling Green expects huge crowds

The Wood County Festival welcomes thousands of different artists and musicians, local and around the world, to showcase their art for thousands of people to see.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Art comes in many forms, and the 29th annual Black Swamp Arts Festival in downtown Bowling Green features nearly all of them this weekend. Hundreds of artists and musicians from around the world showcase their work at this non-profit, all-volunteer event.

“We love being able to help out local businesses and give some of these artists a name,” said Co-President of Marketing Carmen Cano. “We have artists coming from all over the country for the Black Swamps Arts Festival.”

Cano said they expect 30,000 to 40,000 people to converge on Bowling Green and the surrounding community this weekend.

One such person is Joyce Little who said she has been coming to the popular festival since it started in 1992. She said it was great since her grandchildren can now enjoy it with her.

“I love art and I just like letting them see it too and feel it because they learn to appreciate it that way too,” Little said.

Creators must apply to appear on the show months in advance in hopes of securing a coveted spot. They must send photos of their work as well as what their tent presentation would look like if they were accepted into the festival.

Husband and wife welders, Bryant and Sharon Tubbs were among those accepted onto the show. It was their first year of participation. They also won “Best in Show” for the pieces they create from flat sheet metal.

“We’re lucky to be among these people. There are some really great people. And I think everyone really needs to get out there and support the arts,” said Sharon Tubbs.

Said Oladejo-Alawal was last year’s “Best in Show” winner. He said he returned to the event thanks to the organizers who gave him the opportunity, as well as other artists.

“It’s more than just a place to show off. They become friends and family,” Oladejo-Alawal said.

Art exhibits, music and food trucks continue Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the free festival that runs up and down Main Street.

Shuttle rides are $3 to and from the Wood County Fairgrounds and Meijer parking lot, east of I-75.

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