Our 14th Annual Narrows Festival of the Arts might have been a wet one, but the rain certainly didn’t stop us. Crowds gathered around Anawan Street by 11AM, eager to dance to live music, eat some local comfort food, and buy original work from our 20+ artisan vendors. Photography, paintings, jewelry, scarves, terrariums, soap, sculptures, cards and other neat knick-knacks displayed the community’s vast creativity.
The musical lineup included 8 musicians alternating between stages. Tiny Tavares with the John Harrison Trio began the festivities outside, getting the crowd up and onto their feet before noon. TJ’s Music All Stars, with their slew of energetic, talented kids, were the first to heat up the indoor venue. Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, and The Curtis Mayflower were next to impress and entertain us all.
Yarn brewed up a storm outside, both figuratively and literally, while Heather Maloney serenaded us with her soulful voice under the cover of a dry roof. Milton was moved indoors after the harmless sprinkles became more of a torrential downpour, bringing more than a full house in with him.
Shemekia Copeland capped the night off beautifully with her powerhouse vocals and her skilled band. During their last song, she stepped out into the crowd and performed a deeply moving a cappella piece, holding hands with members of the audience and giving us all goose bumps as she moved around.
I feel very lucky to have been a part of the love and joy of this year’s Narrows Festival. Words can’t describe how wonderful it was to see everyone come together, some completely soaked, some even barefoot, and still genuinely happy, to sing and dance and keep creativity alive.
I couldn’t help but look around yesterday and think to myself; this is what life is all about. This is what inspiration looks like. This is what happiness sounds like.