May 24, 2017

Inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival April 9

ArtsPark

A bevy of artists, musicians, disc golfers, actors, and even dogs will host a festival April 9, 2017, from 11 am to 4:30 pm to launch the creation of an ArtsPark on Coral Drive in Lexington Park, MD.

Art activities for all ages from sidewalk chalk art, to mosaic, to silk scarf painting, and working artists will fill the park. Acting workshops are scheduled as well as musical and theater productions. At noon, there will be a dog costume parade and all afternoon pets (or children) can get an Easter photo with SMAWLIE, the mascot of the St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League and the blossoming cherry trees in the background.

The festival is scheduled to coincide with the blossoming of nearly 200 cherry trees on the 80-acre parkland tucked between Lancaster Park on Willows Road and Route 235. The old roads are closed to vehicular traffic and permit easy strolling among century old hardwoods as well as the same species of cherry trees as bloom in Washington, DC.

The lower 50 acres hold an 18-basket course used by the Southern Maryland Disc Golf Association. Members will be at the Cherry Blossom Festival to demonstrate and teach the sport.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corp. seeks to transform the upper 35 acres into an ArtsPark where all forms of creativity are encouraged and supported. The park is already anchored by the Three Notch Theatre at the corner of Coral Drive and Tulagi Place.

The Newtowne Players will offer workshops during the ArtsPark Cherry Blossom Festival and also performing a scene from their upcoming production. In the theatre lobby entries to the Lexington Park mural contest will be on display, the winner announced at 4 pm. Visitors also will have an opportunity to vote on the mural entries and the Hometown Favorite will be announced as well.

Joining the mural designs will be the works of artists participating in the Cherry Blossom Plein Air Happening. Artists are invited to set up wherever they wish in the ArtsPark and work in whatever medium they choose. All work will be photographed and spotlighted on the ArtsPark website. Participating plein air artists are invited to sell their work and all artists, artisans, and creators of all types are additionally invited to set up a vendor booth at the festival.

Vendor spots for the inaugural festival are $25. The festival committee is seeking artists and food vendors in particular, but welcome inquiries from all interested. To contact CDC’s ArtsPark Project Manager e-mail LexingtonPark.Live@gmail.com. Or leave a voice mail message at 301-863-7700.

The ArtsPark can be accessed from the public parking lots on Tulagi Place at Freedom Park across from Linda’s Cafe or Lancaster Park next to the United States Colored Troops Memorial Statue. Proceeds from the ArtsPark Cherry Blossom Festival will be shared among those organizations supporting the park including: SMAWL, Three Notch Theater, Southern Maryland Disc Golf Association, UCAC, St. Mary’s County Arts Council, and the Save the Trees project of the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corp.

For more about Lexington Park, visit the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation’s Leader member page.

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