Arts festival to replace Olden Days

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Smithfield/Isle of Wight Tourism is eyeing a new four-day event next spring featuring the visual and performing arts, fashion, music and food.

The Smithfield Arts Festival is set for May 14-17 in downtown Smithfield, and Tourism is working with the Isle of Wight Arts League to make it happen, said Connie Chapman, special events coordinator for Tourism.

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“This is a whole new initiative that we hope will attract all demographics to Smithfield as well as locals. The event will be “a celebration of visual, performing and culinary arts,” said Chapman. 

The former warm weather festival — Olden Days — has been permanently retired by tourism. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The event kicks off Thursday, May 14 as the Smithfield Little Theatre winds down its performance of “Hands on a Hardbody,” which is about 10 Texans hoping to win a new truck by keeping their hand on one for the longest amount of time, and was inspired by a true story. 

Already, Tourism is asking visual artists to submit works in a variety of fine art mediums, such as watercolors, as well a photography and three-dimensional works such as pottery and jewelry. Prizes will be awarded. 

The visual arts will be part of a juried show along Main Street on Saturday, May 16, along with performing and culinary arts activities, said Chapman. 

Local dance studios will perform on The Smithfield Times gazebo stage on Saturday, along with restaurants and bakeries offering possible culinary demonstrations and other activities. 

Musical performances are also on the list, said Chapman. 

The deadline for submissions for the juried show is Nov. 10 and there is a $35 application fee. Jury selection is announced Dec. 10. There is a $125 booth fee and artists must provide their own tent.  To obtain an application, visit For more information, contact Connie Chapman at  {/mprestriction}