Wow! What an Outreach Ministry
by Cynde Bimbi
Arriving at five-thirty on a Saturday morning, Tracy Mulveny (one of approximately 200 church volunteers for the art show) knew she was not likely to be the first. She was correct, as a handful of the one-hundred, forty plus exhibitors had already arrived and were setting up their display for the St. Peter’s 51st Annual Art Show.
My husband and I can attest to this early morning activity as we were staying in a hotel directly across and above the street of the epicenter of activity. Voices, laughter, movement, and joyous commotion was plentiful in the very early hours of July 1st on Mulberry Street.
We were amazed as we stepped out of our hotel at nine o’clock in the morning to see hundreds of exhibit booths lined-up in the streets surrounding the church campus, which was referred to as “St. Peter’s Square”. When we arrived at the hotel at midnight the evening prior the small, quaint town of Lewes was quiet without an exhibit booth or any hint of what was to come in less than six hours.
Tracy said they were pleased with the attendance at noontime, even though they estimated just a little over two-thousand. They felt the prediction of deteriorating weather kept some away. Over the years they have seen crowds from two to five-thousand.
The show began in 1966 as a “Clothesline Art Show” and today is a robust Art Show that hosts over 140 carefully selected artists and artisans. This year the show also offered historical tours, organ demonstrations, silent auction, face painting, a luncheon hosted by the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Women, and raffles. The exhibitor categories included painting, printing, drawing, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, and a few other miscellaneous items.
While food has always been an important part of the regions oldest and finest outdoor art show, the St. Peter’s environmental Green Team proudly boasted “Back to the Tap”. This was where you could find ice-cold tap water, coming from five wells and distributed by the Board of Public Works of the City of Lewes, free of charge for all attendees. If you didn’t have your own container, you could purchase a reusable bottle.
To add to the joy of the experience, was listening to the volunteers proudly describe how St. Peter’s Church gives all the proceeds from this colossal church event to community organizations, helping individuals and families. Hence the reason for the shows motto: “Art that Gives”.
If you haven’t experienced this show, mark your calendar for the 52nd Annual Art Show – Saturday, July 7, 2018.