On Sunday, May 25, East End Arts will hold their 18th Annual Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival in downtown Riverhead. Now a Memorial Day tradition, the festival draws around 5,000 people each year to view the masterpieces. The festival embraces an old Italian art style called I Madonnari. Artists of this style would paint their works on the street or sidewalk in front of cathedrals to earn money through honoring the Virgin Mary. Today, street artists employ I Madonnari to create incredible works of art on topics including pop culture, history, portraits, landscapes, comedy, and tragedy.
The festival has become so much more than just a creative outlet for artists, however. It has become a fantastic event for families and friends with activities ranging from live music, an arts and crafts fair, face painting, a drum circle, food trucks, and more activities great for all ages. Performing from the Riverhead Town Show Mobile Stage, the festival’s live musical performances include FemFire Belly Dance, East End Arts’ cello ensemble, Taost (a rock band), Blue Spruce Cloggers, Slang (the seven piece horn group, scenes from Riverhead High School’s Teeny Award winning production of “The Wiz,” Bridgehampton High School’s Tewa Marimba Ensemble, and more great musical groups.
The festival will take place on East Main Street, between Roanoke Avenue and East Street, as well as on East End Arts’ grounds. Admission is free, and the festival runs from 12 to 5 p.m. In the event of rain, the festival will take place on Monday, May 26.
For more information, visit www.eastendarts.org.