By: Stacy Keith
Lady bug releases, summer art classes, and climbing the “big tree” in the arboretum are just a few of the memories that the Lubbock Municipal Garden and Arts Center left me with as I watched my son during his oh too quick childhood enjoy the activities offered there. I still have one of the art pieces which he tirelessly and enthusiastically worked on during one of his summer camps framed and hanging in our hallway.
To have a central and affordable community asset such as the GAC is a treasure for families. A place where children can engage creatively and learn about nature is a place that creates lasting impressions.
It was a magical place for him and has been a magical place for thousands of children since its beginning in 1960. Located in central Lubbock at 4215 University Avenue, the Center is a place for children’s art classes each summer, adult art classes, monthly rotating local artist exhibits, art demonstrations and several festivals throughout the year. The GAC is on the First Friday Art Trail each month and showcases a lovely, open gallery space which always features great work. It is an important venue in the collection of the municipal facilities in Lubbock.
The center also hosts many community meetings and activities and is located just in front of the arboretum, which boasts lovely landscaping and many blooming herbs and native plants with a delightful trail to explore. It also hosts the National Arts Program at Lubbock which is an annual exhibit to highlight the works of City of Lubbock employees and their families, retirees, volunteers, and previous Garden & Arts Center exhibitors. This show is comprised of art from all ages and levels of ability and each piece of artwork is judged within its classification which the artist selects.
GAC also holds the Pumpkin Trail each October lighting up the pathways of the arboretum trails with carved pumpkins which are donated from citizens throughout Lubbock resulting in a fun and spooky opportunity to get into the Halloween spirit. After the Pumpkin Trail will follow a December craft fair showcasing the handmade items of many Lubbock artisans.
The GAC will hold its 51st Fall Festival on Saturday, September 11 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and it’s a free event for the entire family. This will be a fun day of family, food, art, crafts and music all on the grounds of the GAC. So, what’s in store? Well, lots of amazing things including approximately 75 vendor booths which will showcase a variety of handmade pieces including: jewelry, pottery, décor, metal works, and fiber arts. In addition, the Lubbock Public Library and Lubbock Master Gardeners will also have booths at the festival to share their services and work.
An event in a ‘Texas Music Friendly Community’ would not be complete without a great lineup of musicians and bands. The 51st Fall Festival won’t disappoint and have the following musicians on the list to perform throughout the day: Gospel Brass, Standard Issue, Magic and Company, Jenni Dale Lord, The Standard Trio, Halau Hula O Anelalani, Joe Trevino Band and John Hibbard.
As with any festival, food is a central part of the day. Food trucks will be on sight to offer goodies to visitors and these include: Mi Kocina, Anderson’s Grill, Arctic N7 Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Street Sweets, and J&D BBQ and Catering.
It wouldn’t be a GAC event if it didn’t have something in the mix for children. There will be a Disney Scavenger Hunt and the South Plains Woodturners will be doing demonstrations of their craft. There is much to enjoy and learn at the 51st Annual Fall Festival. The event is free of charge and parking is available at Hodges Community Center, Clapp Park and the parking lot of the GAC.
This is a great event for the entire family, a way to support local artists and hear local music. It is a true Lubbock tradition. For more information, visit the Lubbock Garden and Arts Center website at: https://ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/garden-arts-center/51st-annual-fall-festival.