WOOSTER, Ohio -- Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, less than a year removed from a tornado strike, will host the community’s first-ever Baiwoop Art Festival this Saturday (7/30).
Event coordinator Matt Shultzman of Wooster calls it both a showcase for local artists and a way to bring people back to the facility, which lost more than 1,000 trees to the twister.
“The whole point is to get people out here to see that it’s still an awesome place to hang out, to expose people to it if they haven’t been here before, and to expose them to some good local artists,” Shultzman said.
Admission is free, but proceeds from the event’s silent auction -- of items donated by exhibitors -- will go toward the arboretum’s tornado renewal fund. Hours are noon-8 p.m.
More than 30 exhibits by local artists, performances by local musicians and a big closing drum circle are slated. So are live painting, live pottery, hacky sack circles, food vendors and a children’s activity booth sponsored by the Wayne Center for the Arts.
“The drum circle will have upward of 20 people in it,” said Shultzman, who added that anyone’s welcome to join -- either bring your own drum or borrow one. “We’re going to try to have as much down there for people to bang on as we can,” he said.
About the name: You say it “bay-woop.” And it doesn’t really have a meaning.
Shultzman said he and his friends were bringing up names of festivals they knew -- Woodstock, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza -- when someone came up with “Baiwoop.”
“It’s a made-up word that we thought would be catchy,” he said, “and we just went with it.”
Gretchen Pleuss, Tamara Weaver, Ed Marthey and Ben Mackey, all from the area, will be among the performers. Other musicians will be welcome to join in. “We’re leaving it pretty open,” Shultzman said.
The aim is keeping it local, he said, and to “show that there are a lot of talented people around here.”
Shultzman, who’s a 2003 graduate of Apple Creek’s Waynedale High School, has his own ties to Secrest. He’s worked there -- as part of the grounds crew at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the arboretum’s home -- for more than a year.
He’s a 2006 landscape contracting and construction alumnus of the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, which is next to the arboretum and, like OARDC, is part of Ohio State University.
He’s one of the many people, both OARDC staff and volunteers, who have been working to replant the arboretum, which saw about 30 of its 120 acres flattened by an EF-2 tornado last September. The renewal fund helps support those efforts.
Festival activities will center in the arboretum’s Landscape Display Gardens on Williams Road, about 1.7 miles from OARDC’s main entrance, 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster.
The drum circle will be held in the arboretum’s John Streeter Garden Amphitheater, just a stone’s throw (or long hacky sack kick) from the Display Gardens.
For more information, call Shultzman at 330-465-1152 or Ken Cochran, the arboretum’s program director, at 330-464-2148.
OARDC and ATI are both part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
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