Milford flooded with arts activity for Big Draw Festival

Mispillion Art League presented the 4th Annual Big Draw Delaware Festival on October 4 in the community of Milford.

Taking place in countries around the world, this year’s Big Draw theme, Come Back to Color, was a celebration of bringing more vitality, color, health and vibrancy back into everyone’s life after these past difficult years. .

Park Avenue in Milford has been closed to traffic and arts activities have been positioned along the street. Although the beach is not normally found in Milford, organizers brought one, along with eight tons of sand donated by Pennsy Supply. Children and adults walked barefoot and built sandcastles with the help of award-winning master sandcastle builders Darrell O’Connor and Andrew West. The City of Milford Parks and Recreation Department generously picked up the sand, delivered it to the avenue, then cleaned it up and took it away at the end of the day.

A large wall of paper in the center of the street allowed artists of all ages, from toddlers to adults, to draw as they pleased with markers and crayons. The joy was palpable. Milford City Council member Dan Marabello was on hand to show his support, and council member Katrina Wilson brought her creative granddaughter. State Representative Bryan Shupe, R-Milford, came with his young son.

Artistic activities included making masks with colored ovals and lots of provided colored paper to tear and cut to create fun and whimsical faces.

A pass-and-draw activity had entire families working together as one person started a drawing and passed it on to the person next to them to add, with lots of laughs ensuing .

Pumpkins for painting were donated by East Gate Farm/Nursery in Milford. MAL’s next door neighbor Red Bandana had fun with a table full of pumpkins outside his store on Walnut Street. At a table set up outside Dolce Bakery and Café, attendees discovered just how fun painting with coffee can be.

Milford Library set up a sheet printing station and Milford Museum showed participants the historical method of painting using milk with colored pigments added.

With the inspiration of Steering Committee member Harry Humes, Milford High School art teacher Julie Skerritt hired 15 of her students to paint their previously prepared designs for Windows on Walnut, adding ghosts, pumpkins and other signs of the season on the windows of MAL, Red Bandana, The Music School of Delaware, Dolce and Maggie’s Antiques.

Thanks to architectural and engineering firm and neighbor MAL Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc., whose team printed over 5,000 flyers that were distributed to schools in Milford and throughout the city.

Downtown Milford Inc. donated banners promoting the festival and placed them on lampposts in the business district.

Over 50 volunteers from the Mispillion Art League and beyond attended. Scouts from Troop 186 came to help, bringing water and helping the volunteers.

Members of the Steering Committee were Rosemary Connelly, President; Jane Dean and Carol Lehmann, marketing; Lori Barrett and Barbara Buford, supplies; Gervasio Ruiz Jr., photography coordinator; Patti Richardson, secretary; and Kathie and Bob Enright, who picked pumpkins from East Gate Farm, among other things. Sonja Frey designed all print and marketing materials.

Gloria Markowitz and Kathy Stetson distributed flyers throughout the city, and Paige Evers distributed flyers to churches. Many people played a role in making this year’s event a resounding success.

Dora W. Clawson