On Sunday, July 23 at War Vets Park in Olean, restaurateurs and artists come together for the annual food and art lovers event, Taste of Olean/Art in the Park. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can stroll the Taste booths, grazing on a little of this and a taste of that, and at Art in the Park, see your favorite artists, meet new ones and discover beautiful pieces to take home with you.
This is the 68th year of Art in the Park, produced by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC), an independent non-profit organization which is dedicated to excellence in fine arts and handcrafted goods, as well as promoting the arts and the talented artists and artisans in the area.
The Taste of Olean is produced by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce to showcase the best of the Olean region’s restaurants with numerous food vendors serving up their best to the public al fresco.
New to Art in the Park this year is “Chalk It Up!” a chalk art contest. A $5 registration fee on the day of the event will give you a 4 ft. X 4 ft. space on the paved basketball court in War Vets Park to draw your chalk masterpiece. A “Best in Show” prize will be awarded in each of two age categories – Youth, ages 10 – 15 and Adult, age 16 and older. Kids up to 10 years of age can draw for free in an open area, but there is no prize for this age group. Chalk drawing begins at 10 a.m. with spaces assigned on a first-come, first served basis. The first 28 entries will get a set of chalk provided by CCAC. Others coming later must provide their own chalk. Those participating in the contest must complete their artwork by 3 p.m. when judging begins. If it rains, the event will be cancelled. For contest rules, go to the Chalk Art Contest page of the CCAC website, www.myartscouncil.net.
Taste of Olean / Art in the Park is also an opportunity to recognize some of the artists and restaurateurs. Art in the Park is a juried exhibit and sale, so ribbons will be awarded for the Best In Show, Best New Exhibitor, and Best Presentation. Taste of Olean will also announce the recipients of this year’s Hospitality Wall of Fame awards, recognizing the individuals or businesses who have made a significant contribution to the local food service/hospitality industry.
There is something for everyone at this “double header” event: get something to eat at Taste of Olean and be entertained with live performances on the stage, tour the tent galleries, talk to the artists about their work and purchase pieces directly from the artists while children play in the bounce houses or on the playground. Express your own creativity at the Chalk It Up! Chalk art contest or wander through this beautiful park of mature shade trees and relax to people watch at the many picnic tables or in the dining pavilion. This a family-friendly destination for the entire day.