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Annual Art in Bloom festival bursts with art, flowers and music

Mother’s Day weekend means Art in Bloom is back, bursting with art, flowers, live music and activities of all kinds in downtown Medford.

This springtime festival showcases fine artists and horticulturists from the West Coast. More than 120 will display paintings, photography, jewelry, garden decor and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 12, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 13, in the heart of downtown, along Main and Bartlett streets and Central Avenue. Downtown streets will be closed to provide a safe, pedestrian-friendly event.

“Everything is handmade,” says organizer Amy Rose. “The artisans submitted pictures of their booths with five of their products, jewelry, art or pottery, and our board juried the applications. The board looks for one-of-a-kind gifts from a diverse assortment of vendors.”

Parking is free on weekends. Park anywhere you like outside the Art in Bloom parimeter. Stop by the information booth at Vogel Plaza, corner of East Main Street and Central, for a map of the festival and schedule of events. Drawings for gifts created by Art in Bloom vendors also are available at the booth.

This year, potter Ron Wood will be turning clay bowls at Vogel Plaza, and Gary Spallino of Medford will display his chain-saw sculpture on Central Avenue. These are just two of the 20 new artists participating at the Art in Bloom festival.

Artisans from 42degrees will demonstrate live glass blowing in Theatre Alley, between the Craterian Theatre and the buildings on East Main Street.

“We’re there to show people what can be made with glass, and we treat the mothers with extra love, of course,” says glassblower Adam Spiegel. “We gift a lot of the stuff away when someone watches and says ‘hey!’”

Also look for calligraphy, spinning and weaving in Vogel Plaza and Theatre Alley.

Ladies Biz Lane will feature pampering products by vendors Jamberry, Thirty-one, Advocare, Younique, Arbonne, Dove Chocolates and Scentsy, to name a few.

Laurel Alexander of Busy Fingers Farm will offer flower and vegetable starts, hanging baskets, flower stands and more along North Bartlett Street, and products from English Lavendar Farm in the Applegate Valley will be available.

Keep your eye out for budding entrepreneurs at lemonade stands throughout the festival, along with food and drink vendors. You can taste each of the mini-mixologists’ concoctions for $1.

Back this year by popular demand will be the BMX Freestyle Team shows in front of U.S. Bank on the corner of Front and Main streets, Rose says.

“We got a lot of Facebook responses about the team,” Rose says. “Businesses and visitors wanted them back this year. They have a great show and a great message about following your dreams and setting goals.”

The BMX riders do back flips off ramps, trick riding and jumps. Shows are 30 minutes long and followed by meet-and-greets and T-shirt and hat giveaways.

Two stages will host live music at this year’s Art in Bloom: Commons Stage in Pear Blossom Park and Bartlett Street Stage behind Banner Bank.

Scenic Middle School students, America’s Best Kids, Fusion Martial Arts, Panache Dance, Ballet Folklorico and Evergreen Ballroom Dancers will perform Saturday on the Commons Stage. On Sunday, look for Alex and Hanna Goldman, Not Too Shabby, the Beau Berry Band, and Kendra and Angalee.

Ben Backen, Rogue Valley German Band, Danielle Kelly Soul Project, Bustin’ Out, and Dance Arts Academy will perform Saturday on the Bartlett Street Stage. On Sunday, Blue Lightning, Saucy, Deja Neaux, and David Pinsky and Phil Newton, with the Over the Moon band, will perform.

There will be plenty of room for dancing.

Not far from the Commons Stage is the Kids Zone on Central Avenue near Middleford Yarn Store where the younger set can enjoy petting zoos, jump houses and lots more. See ponies, ducklings and chicks at Hope Ranch’s mini-ranch. Nature Joe will entertain kids with his collection of live lizards, snakes, a hedgehog and more. Annie the Clown will present interactive puppet theater and brighten up kids’ faces with her face painting.

Stop by ScienceWorks’ station to conduct curious experiments, and plant a flower for your mom courtesy of the Grange Co-op.

A nonprofit art organization, Art in Bloom is committed to art education and has funded art projects and student awards at high schools in Medford, Phonix and Grants Pass. This year, the organization will support creative endeavors for Logos Charter School, Valley School and Walking Tall youth programs.

See art-in-bloom.com for more information.

Mail Tribune / Jamie LuschVisitors pass rows of flowers along North Bartlett Street during a past Art in Bloom festival.