If you've been a hardcore fan and attendee of Mayfest, an annual festival of music and art in Gratz Park, over the past dozen years it has taken place, you might notice a few subtle changes in the proceedings this year. Which is to be expected, given that this is the first Mayfest the new staff and administration at the Downtown Lexington Corporation have had the chance to organize since taking their new positions between July and November of last year.
Shanna Perino is the Special Events Coordinator with the DLC, and she has been planning for this year's Mayfest since the second week in January, pouring over old files and contact information.
"It's been interesting for us all to do this event, because with all of us being a new administration here, we had to approach, literally, every aspectÖstep by step," Perino said.
Mayfest is the DLC's largest fundraising event of the year. The money made from the event goes into the organization's general fund, where it is then put back into the community in the form of other public events, like Thursday Night Live, all within keeping of the DLC's mission of promoting downtown Lexington as a vibrant place to live, work and play.
The largest portion of the funds is generated through the sale of booth spaces and corporate sponsorship. This year there are over 40 arts and crafts booths and nearly 20 full-service or single item food vendors.
Unique to the art vendors this year is the addition of a Young Emerging Artist section, where eight young artists, between the ages of 7 and 18 (the 7-year-old will be doing portraits for only 25 cents), who have participated with the art training program at The Explorium will have a chance to show off their wares with adult vendors.
"This is the first time these young artists have had the opportunity to present their artwork alongside adult artists at an adult art fair," Perino said. "And it's really going to give them the opportunity to get a taste of what working at a festival is like, to see if this is something they want to do as a source of income.
Vendors will also be set up in the two streets that run next to Gratz Park