Annual ‘Artsapalooza’ will be held with a twist this year

ORONO, Maine — Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Orono’s annual festival of the arts is still going to happen this month — with a twist.

While restrictions on public gatherings have forced local and statewide festivals to scrap their plans this summer, the Stillwater Community Arts will host a “traveling Artsapalooza,” event on Saturday, June 20, so people can enjoy live music from the safety of their own front yards. 

“This year, because of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re taking Artsapalooza on the road. It’s starting small with four artists, but if it’s successful we hope to do a few more “traveling Artsapaloozas” this summer,” the organization said. 

Artsapalooza started about 10 years ago, after a group of Orono residents wanted a way to celebrate the arts in local venues that gave back to the community. 

This is the first time that Stillwater Community Arts has done a “traveling Artsapalooza,” but said, “it seems like a safe, non-virtual way to add the arts to people’s lives.”

A few local musicians including Gus LaCasse, Brook Nason and Nathan Manaker are going to play from their cars while touring throughout the town. The live show is expected to last about two hours beginning at 5 p.m. 

Each vehicle will follow the same route, but will have different starting points along the way. 

“We hope, and expect, this kind of connection will foster a sense of community, resiliency and hope that we all need right now,” said the organization. It is also encouraging people to support local restaurants and downtown businesses by ordering to-go meals while enjoying the festival. 

“As promised, our 10th annual Artsapalooza will be one for the books,” it said. 

Information  on the Artsapalooza can be found on the Stillwater Community Arts Facebook page or their website, stillwatercommunityarts.org. The rain date will be June 27.

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