Although crowds continued to flock to the Utah Arts Festival Saturday evening, there were signs that the annual show was winding down earlier in the day.
Instead of their usual scurrying about trying to meet the many needs of festival exhibitors and artists, some volunteers and festival staffers were relaxing a bit in the shade, where it was available."Is the festival winding down?" Robyn Nelson, the festival's director of volunteers, was asked.
"No, we're just gearing up for the night," Nelson said with a laugh as she enjoyed a cooling dip with one foot in a wading pond and a soothing massage on the other tired foot.
Volunteers and paid staff members have been kept busy at the festival, which has attracted large crowds since a Wednesday noon opening.
The 12th annual showcase of art opens again at noon Sunday on the Triad Center grounds and at the Union Pacific Depot, and closes for a final time this year at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Many of the some 1,000 volunteers who helped prepare for or who worked during the festival were still busily working with children Saturday afternoon in the Children's Art Yard.
They included Kaelyn Chapman, who coordinated face-painting efforts; John Sullivan, a University of Utah art history student; and Alex Gardiner, an eighth-grader at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Meredith Moench, an artist and part-time University of Utah instructor in painting and drawing, has worked five years for the festival.
"We've done something out-of-doors on a large scale that cannot be done in school or at home," Moench said, pointing to the efforts of scores of volunteers who solicited materials, designed and, in some cases, constructed facilities such as a "maze," a dance area and a "sound tower."
But the Children's Art Yard was designed for children and provided ample opportunity for them to express themselves.
Designed by Kent Peters, a Salt Lake architect, the maze was created out of wood, plastic, metal fabric, bubble-wrap packaging, cardboard and other materials, more than half of which were donated by Salt Lake area businesses.
Peters just made the basic structure; the rest was left to the imagination of children, and they had fun doing it, said Moench, who has worked in various festival areas for five years.
In the dance area, directed by Rosalind Newmark, children fashioned ankle braclets from metal washers, nuts, buttons, telephone wire and other material that tinkled or rattled when they danced.
Aptly named, the sound tower consisted of scrap metal, muffler pipes, pots and pans, croquet mallets, bread boxes, 55-gallon drums for a timpani section and anything metallic or wooden that could be hit to make a sound. Larnie Fox and Wendy Ajax supervised activities.
Joyce Green was in charge of Utah Museum of Natural History-sponsored demonstrations of recorded animal sounds, including chirping crickets, whale songs, woodpeckers pecking and rattlesnakes rattling.
Chapman, a volunteer for her second year at the festival, said the outdoor festivities are sort of like Halloween for children.
"It kind of transforms them into something else for a day. It's fun for them," she said.
Here's Sunday's performing arts schedule:
Artist of the Day, Lory Smith, mixed media, Booth 56.
12-2:30 p.m. - Maggie Doyle, fiber art, Demonstrating Stage.
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Gina Bachauer Piano Competition winner, Plaza Stage.
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Hogle Zoo Docents, Children's Art Yard.
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Full Joy Gospel Singers, gospel music, Amphitheater Stage.
2-3 p.m. - Main Squeeze, dance music, Plaza Stage.
2-3 p.m. - Literary Tales, storyteller, Children's Art Yard
2-4 p.m. - Geoff Aggeler, "Confessions of Johnny Ringo," Literary Booth.
3-4 p.m. - Amnesia Duo, new age jazz, Amphitheater Stage.
3-4 p.m. - Black Tales, storyteller, Children's Art Yard.
3-5 p.m. - Roberta Glidden, silk-resist dyeing, Demonstrating Stage.
3:30-4:30 p.m. - Bel Airs, popular music, Plaza Stage.
4-6 p.m. - Harold Schindler, "Orrin Porter Rockwell," Literary Booth.
4- 6 p.m. - W.L. "Bud" Rusho, "Everett Russ Vagabond for Beauty," Literary Booth.
4:30-5:30 p.m. - Salt Lake Good Times Jazz Band, Dixieland, Amphitheater Stage.
5-6 p.m. - Irie Heights, original and popular dance-oriented music with Jamaican sound, Plaza Stage.