DAPHNE – Organizers are still making plans for the Jubilee Festival of Arts in September but said the 32nd-annual event will be different to accommodate precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most spring festivals in the area, such as the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, were canceled after the coronavirus outbreak. Local officials said they could not take a chance with large crowds coming together during the pandemic.
The Jubilee Festival of Arts is scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27 in Olde Towne Daphne.
Casey Williams, president of the Eastern Shore Chamber, said organizers are “cautiously,” moving ahead with plans for the event. Those plans include health and safety guidelines.
“It is especially important during these uncertain times to support our artists and our businesses. In this everchanging environment, we will be nimble and creative in order to bring the Jubilee Festival of Arts to our community,” Williams said. “The festival may not look exactly the same as in years past as we work to keep everyone safe and adhere to best practices, but our goal is to make the Jubilee Festival something to look forward to in September.”
On Thursday, July 2, the chamber unveiled the poster art for the upcoming festival. Previous unveilings have been public events with crowds of chamber members and festival organizers. The 2020 event was limited to Williams and a few others at the American Sports Art Museum & Archives in Daphne while other supporters watched over the chamber’s Facebook site.
One of those at the unveiling was artist Ricky Trione who was selected as the 2020 artist for the event. Trione, who grew up in Daphne, is a local artist who has continued his work after losing his sight more than 20 years ago.
Trione was a pen-and-ink artist before being blinded in two separate accidents. He said he did not think that he would continue after losing his sight, but a childhood friend, Vicky Nix Cook, convinced him to try creating art by using textures.
“I really didn’t start doing Jubilee art until after I lost my sight. I started using my memory. I had so many memories of scenes of jubilees,” said Trione.
He said his greatest joy is getting to visit children of all ages in schools, colleges, art camps and special events. He tries to show young artists that they can enjoy being creative and artistic, no matter what obstacles come their way.
“I do a lot of crab art and shrimp, flounder, so I have created a painting that I think is sort of whimsical and fun and I think it’s really going to be something uplifting for the Jubilee Festival,” Trione said.
The festival will take place on Main Street. The event will include art and music as well as chef demonstrations in front of City Hall. One new addition planned for this year is a Jubilee Market to allow local producers of goods, including honey, baked items or produce to display and sell their products.
Anyone wanting more information about the Jubilee Festival of Arts can go to the event website at www.thejubileefestival.com.