Downtown Art Walk 2018

Artists came to paint during a Mother's Day tea held during the Downtown Art Walk and Umbrella festival held in Cedartown on Mother's Day weekend. / Kevin Myrick

Downtown Cedartown saw the light poles hung with umbrellas and paper flowers, and areas were setup for artists to show off their wares during a one-day festival on Main Street during Mother’s Day weekend.

All kinds of creative pursuits were on display during the midday Downtown Art Walk and Umbrella Festival on May 12, organized by local business owners as a way to showcase the talents available in Polk County and the surrounding area.

It also gave local residents the opportunity to celebrate mom’s of all ages during a tea party held during the event.

The concept – a partnership between several people including Merari Morales and Shay Bentley-Griffin – gave mother’s a chance to sit down and enjoy tea and sweets ahead of Mother’s Day proper in Polk County.

Donations were collected from participants to help a local organization making sure that dogs and cats get love they need from pet parents, and to help control the population through a variety of efforts.

Money raised through donations given during the Mother’s Day tea party during the festival went to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society, and totaled up to $400.

“We at the Humane Society really appreciate the help that Shay Bentley-Griffin gave to this project,” Harrison said. “She and I have talked for several years about her want to help our organization, and this idea that she came up with was a great benefit to the Humane Society and all the work we’re able to accomplish with the donation.”

For her part, Bentley-Griffin was just as excited by the turnout of moms and their children in a variety of fun hats.

“Those of us who worked on it are very proud of how it turned out,” she said.

Additionally, she had a lot of thanks for local businesses and organizations who helped out, like Home Depot, Litesey and Gammage Funeral Homes, boy and girl scout groups and more.

“It was unbelievable the people who supported us, and they deserve just as much credit as those of us who helped put it together,” Bentley-Griffin said.

The festival also featured musical performances including a concert ending the day at the Oakwood Room in the Houseal building by the Carroll Symphony Orchestra.

Money raised through donations during tea time and dues paid by artists to setup during the festival on the sidewalks were donated to the Humane Society and the Cedartown Performing Arts Center.

The hopes of organizers is to hold the festival again at least next year, but potentially on a periodic basis on Main Street in Cedartown in hopes of promoting the arts, and getting more people downtown.

“We want to get more people interested in being on Main Street, so we will definitely try to do it again,” Bentley-Griffin said.