Fourth Street Festival Draws Crowds

Posted on September 11, 2011

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KEVIN WANG

Over Labor Day weekend, downtown Bloomington was packed with hundreds of artists and consumers for the Fourth Street Festival.

Since 1977, the festival has been a tradition that makes the city’s four blocks on Fourth Street probably the busiest and most fun place to be at this time of year.

“We have been coming to this festival for probably the last 10 years,” said Bloomington resident David Hohnke, “For us, it’s an afternoon of coming out, actually getting to see what’s going on, having a good time, enjoying some of the vendors.”

120 artists from all over the Midwest brought their handcrafted art such as jewelry, handmade bags and paintings. Larry Zengel, who took a four-and-a-half hour drive from Bowling Green, Ohio, showcased glass balls he made in his booth.

“It’s a full-time job,” he said.

Zengel said he spent about 40 hours a week crafting glass in his studio. He travels to 20 art shows around the area each year. After the Fourth Street Festival, he will head to Columbus, Indiana for another run.

“It’s not too bad,” Zengel said about the road trip. “But that’s about as far as I’d like to go.”

For local residents, the two-day event was perfect for their families.

“I’m here with my wife; she is actually at one of the booths, doing some shopping,” Hohnke said. “It’s easy to get lost in this little four-block area.”

To make sure the event is safe, Bloomington police beefed up security force in downtown. They blocked partial traffic access and sent extra officers on patrol. Vendors and visitors alike said they would give the police a positive job rating.

“I haven’t had any problems,” Zengel said. “It seems like it is a nice little town.”

Greenwood resident Richard Whitney, who brought his family to the festival, is even more sure of his safety.

“I wouldn’t even hesitate to leave my car unlocked,” he said.

(Featured Image Courtesy of sites.google.com/4thstreetfestival.)

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