Cherry Hill Summer Fest brings exposure to local businesses

Saturday, June 12, 2010 | 4:05 p.m. CDT; updated 6:32 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 12, 2010
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Cherry Hill held its fourth annual Summer Fest & Art Show on Saturday. The festival helped raise money for the Central Missouri Food Bank.

COLUMBIA — It takes Linda Coats eight hours to weave one shawl on her triangle loom.

Coats, an administrative associate at the MU Career Center, sold her handwoven shawls and other clothing items Saturday at the Village of Cherry Hill. She also brought her loom to the art show and worked on a new shawl.

Local donations

The following Cherry Hill businesses donated prizes for hourly raffle drawings:

  • A Polished Nail, 4200 Merchant St., Suite 104
  • Shear Madness Hair Salon, 4200 Merchant St., Suite 104
  • Anytime Fitness — 2101 Corona Road, Suite 103 — donated prizes for the 5K race benefiting Trekking for Kids.

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"I like to have an opportunity to demonstrate my weaving," Coats said. "People are quite intrigued by how I make my shawls."

Coats was one of about 20 vendors at the fourth annual Cherry Hill Summer Fest & Art Show, according to Lara Pieper, chairwoman of the Cherry Hill Business Association.

Coats said she first started weaving because she raised alpacas at her farm, Coats High Ridge Farms. She used the alpaca wool to spin yarn by hand for the shawls, though she sometimes uses commercially spun yarn when she doesn't have time to make her own.

Although Coats participates in about seven art shows each year, this is her first experience at the Cherry Hill Summer Fest. She said she usually attends festivals in the fall or winter because her garments are more suited for cold weather.

Jan Coffman, who had an art photography booth at the show, said this is her second time at the event at Cherry Hill but her first time hosting a booth with her husband, Jim.

The couple, who has been married for 48 years, combined their talents in photography and poetry to create art.

Jan Coffman takes digital photographs and then enhances and paints the pictures on her computer. She uses a stylus on a tablet to paint the photographs, so it's very much like painting with an actual brush.

"I want to bring out the feeling and the actual picture I saw when I took the picture, which isn't what always comes out in the photograph," she said.

Jim Coffman said his wife then asks him, "I have picture such-and-such — do you have a poem for it?"

Some of Jim Coffman's writings on his wife's pictures are written specially for the photograph, but other poems are excerpts from his book of poetry, "Gravel Dust and Dreams."

"This is our retirement passion," Jim Coffman said. "She's into her artwork, and I'm into my publishing."

Pieper said the idea for Summer Fest first came about as a way to bring people to Cherry Hill, an area "built on being a small-town community within Columbia."

Local businesses attracted interest by donating prizes for hourly drawings at the event. Attendees could enter the raffle by getting a card signed at businesses in the area.

Michael Long, a manager at MacXprts, said the raffle was a good way for local businesses to attract potential customers. Some businesses held special events to coincide with Summer Fest, such as Joe's Wine & Spirits, which hosted a wine tasting.

Before the event began at 10 a.m., Cherry Hill hosted a 5K run through the Village to benefit Trekking for Kids. Some vendors at the event sold food and refreshments to raise additional money for the nonprofit organization, which helps orphans in some of the world's most remote locations.

Although this was Summer Fest's first year working with Trekking for Kids, Pieper said the event has supported the Central Missouri Food Bank since its first year. Attendees who made a donation of cash or canned food to the organization received a free all-day pass to the games and activities.

The kid-friendly activities, including face painting, a bounce house and a fire truck on display from the Columbia Fire Department, attracted many families to the festival.

Rachel Doyle, a Columbia resident, brought her 2-year-old son, Thaine, to Summer Fest. She said she heard about it on the radio and also had a friend hosting a vendor booth. Doyle said she wanted to check out some of the art on display at the show and brought her son to play some of the games.

Pieper said the bounce house and fire truck are popular traditions at Summer Fest, but a new addition this year was a basketball shooting game with Gary Link, the voice of Missouri Tigers basketball. Link also announced the hourly raffle winners at the event.

Link said he was contacted by Advanced Vision at Cherry Hill to run the basketball game.

"Anytime you get a chance for the athletic department to give back to the community, I like to do that," Link said. "This is my day to do that."

Pieper said Cherry Hill is already planning next year's Summer Fest & Art Show, scheduled for June 18, 2011.

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