Hundreds turn out for Summer Saturdays art event




A festive scene — from live music courtesy of the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra and a “dancing goat” to dancers and a chalk give-away — filled the Broomfield County Commons parking lot Saturday.

The Summer Saturdays drive-thru, a socially-distant replacement for the decades long Summer Sundays free family festivals, was the second this summer and redesigned to accommodate COVID-19 related health precautions. Both were presented by the Broomfield Council on Arts and Humanities.

Saturday’s event included youth dancers from Dance Arts Studio, musicians from the symphony and contributions from local artists and members of the Broomfield Art Guild. At the end of the parking lot, volunteers handed out bags of art supplies and carnival prizes, including face masks, a science activity sheet, instructions on how to create “silly walking signs” for front yards and a recipe to make rock candy.

John Heins plays the accordion Saturday morning at the Broomfield County Commons. The Broomfield Symphony Orchestra supplied music for the two-hour community event. (Jennifer Rios, Staff Writer)
Hundreds of people, most of whom registered for a specific time slot ahead of time, made their way through the parking lot, applauding the arts as they went.

Camie Rigirozzi, local artist and creator of the COVIDodo, worked on large chalk art pieces with her stepdaughter, taking breaks from the sun in the shade of a nearby tree.

This month’s Summer Saturday felt more lively than June’s event, she said. The first Summer Saturdays featured a violinist and a flute trio, the chalk give-away, an area for Rogirozzi’s art and a ballet dancer from Boulder Ballet, according to Keri Dillingham, executive director of the Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities.

On Saturday, chalk art displays — tributes to healthcare and essential workers — lined the other side of the parking lot across from the dancers. Orchestra players included John Heins on accordion followed by David Brussel, on French horn, Rich Duston, on trumpet, and Stephanie Morse on trombone.

Lynn Scribner, a flutist with the orchestra, made a marionette goat “dance” to the music, which was broadcast on an FM channel that could be picked up in the area.

Naomi Cordova, a hoola hoop artist, performs for families Saturday at this month’s Summer Saturdays event. Cordova, who has taken part in Summer Sundays for years, typically leads children in hoola hoop games and races, but this year practiced social distancing with a solo show. (Jennifer Rios, Staff Writer)
“It seemed like something there was something appealed to everyone,” Dillingham said.

More than 170 vehicles passed through, she said, holding 575 people and “a lot” of dogs.

“Despite the heat everyone seemed to have a fantastic time,” she said. “The volunteers at the bag station heard positive feedback from people coming through.”

She wants to host a Summer Saturdays drive-thru in August, but plans for that are still up in the air, Dillingham said. She has people interested in participating, but BCAH needs to secure a place since it’s unclear if the Commons parking lot will be available. Dance Arts Studio wants to return with teams of dancers, the orchestra is interested in performing, Boulder Ballet wants to return and Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement.

Dillingham said BCAH also wants to add a science element to the next drive-thru, but just doesn’t know if, or where, that event will happen.

In June, the event attracted 176 cars and a total of 400 attendees, Dillingham said.

Logistically it was too difficult to organize a community Summer Sunday event, Dillingham said, but organizers tried to make the new event entertaining by adding art and live music and performers all while keeping it low-contact. Those working at the event wore masks and residents were encouraged, but not required, to wear them. People handing out goody bags wore gloves and entertainment was spread out.

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