Summer Arts Festival: Reception to celebrate 50 years

A free thank-you to the community.

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How to go

What: Summer Arts Festival 50th anniversary reception

Where: Turner Pavilion, Veterans’ Park, Springfield

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. next Saturday, June 11

Admission: Free

More info: call 937-324-2712 or go to

It’s a party a half-century in the making and everyone is invited.

The Springfield Arts Council will celebrate 50 years of the Summer Arts Festival with an anniversary reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11, in Turner Pavilion in Veterans Park.

The reception is free and no reservation is necessary.

This year’s Summer Arts Festival begins on June 10 and ends July 16.

The June 11 reception is a “thank you to our community for supporting us the last 50 years,” said Lisa (Dickerson) Watson, head of the celebration committee and current past president of the Springfield Arts Council Executive Committee. “It’s also an open invitation, a chance to reminisce.”

The event will recognize many of the people who have made the Summer Arts Festival one of the most anticipated events on the local calendar.

Attendees will include past and present board members, sponsors, donors, audience members and possibly some surprise guests.

“It will really be a cross-section from older all the way up to the new,” Watson said.

She’s seen quite a bit of Arts Council and Arts Festival history, from participating in the early years as a performer to becoming as a staff members from 1978-83, then serving on the Executive Committee the past several years after moving back to the area after having lived away from Springfield for nearly 30 years.

The reception will include complimentary light refreshments along with live music from GoodVibes.

Following that celebration, everyone is invited to stay for the evening’s featured entertainer — Grammy-nominated singer Maureen McGovern.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we hope it will be memorable for everyone,” Watson said.