Festival gears up for weekend

It's looking like the summer may finally arrive in time for the sixth annual MidSummer's Dream festival at the Briscoe ArtWing grounds.

The annual arts, crafts and music fundraiser is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Briscoe ArtWing, 265 N. Main St. If weather predictions hold, the weekend will be sunny and warmer, with temperatures hitting the mid to high 80s.

This year's event will feature more than 75 artists from Southern Oregon, hands-on crafts, music on two stages and food.

MidSummer's Dream is organized by the Lithia Arts Guild of Oregon and the Briscoe ArtWing Community. Festival director Jim Young was at the Briscoe site Thursday busy with last-minute details preparing for the event.

"The last two weeks I've put in about 80 hours working on this," Young said. "There's so many pieces. Many, many pieces."

Two stages are taking form on the grounds — one large stage in the field behind the brick school building and a smaller one on the side of the building facing Laurel Street.

The main stage will see such acts as Salsa Brava, Frankie Hernandez, One Horse Shy and the Karen Lovely Band through the weekend, while the smaller stage, called the Cypress Stage, will host local favorites such as Gypsy Rogue, Cornflower and Gabe Young and Friends.

The festival has been growing over the years, and Young said the goal this year is to raise about $100,000. Four percent of the proceeds will go to the Ashland School District, while 6 percent will be used by the Lithia Arts Guild. The remainder will be used to support regional artists, according to Young.

Funds also will be used to support the ArtWing's work with Ashland students on art projects both in the schools and at the ArtWing site.

This year the city of Ashland provided a $5,000 grant that will go toward the music acts featured at the festival, Young said.

Pacific Domes of Ashland donated the construction and use of a temporary dome on the field behind the school for belly dancing.

The weekend event is free. For information, see the Web site midsummerfest.com.

Myles Murphy is an editor and reporter with the Daily Tidings. Reach him at mmurphy@dailytidings.com.

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