Come and celebrate at a block party of sorts in the ‘Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin’ during Ashland’s seventh annual Mural Fest and Classic Car Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday around the 200 block on the west end of Main Street and on the Ashland County Courthouse lawn.
Mural fest was originally started as a way to celebrate the murals in Ashland, Ashland Chamber of Commerce executive director Mary McPhetridge explained.
“When we started this seven years ago, it was all about the murals and having a fall festival after Labor Day but before Apple Fest and the Red Clay Classic and WhistleStop, and to do something downtown,” she said. “Then after we had it a couple of years we decided we would add this car show in.”
McPhetridge estimated that the car show has been a part of the festival for about five years.
“This is a great way to celebrate Ashland’s rich history through the murals, and it’s also a fun way to see history through cars, from old, old, old classics from the 1920s, and now classics are even in the 70s,” she said. “There are some really beautiful cars.”
As of last year McPhetridge noted that they had found an individual to coordinate the car show, which has helped with its organization.
“Ashland Ford Chrysler, they’re our major sponsor for the car show,” she said.
Beyond the car show McPhetridge said there would be crafters, sidewalk sales, food vendors, music and more.
“We have mural trolley tours that will be headed by (local mural artist) Sue Martinsen,” said McPhetridge, pointing out that those tours will depart from the Bay Area Civic Center and would be the last chance for people to participate in the trolley tours this season, as last weekend was the end of the 2017 Weekend Guided Mural Trolley Tours.
“Then we have children’s mural painting,” McPhetridge said. “We’ve been painting these children’s murals for seven years now, so we’ve got some good panels and we are ready to put them in empty storefronts as soon as we’re given the okay to do that.”
Kids mural painting is planned from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the course of the fest, and the Ashland Lions Club cookout is also planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Court House lawn.
“It’s really just a little festival downtown on the courthouse lawn,” McPhetridge said. “It’s just a nine to two event where you come down and you can talk to the artists, you can tour the murals on your own or you can go on the trolley tour, and then we also have the car show and we have crafters there, some vendors, we have food, we have music.”
In addition to the Mural Fest and Classic Car Show, the Ashland Farmers Market is also scheduled from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday on the 200 block of Chapple Avenue.
“They can come to the car show, mural fest, and then head down to the other side and take in the farmers market,” McPhetridge said. “The weather forecast looks very good for Saturday. So come, it’s going to be warm.”
Mural Fest vendor spaces are still available for only $ 10 a booth, McPhetridge said, encouraging interested persons to contact the Chamber office ahead of time if possible, or if they are unable, to show up at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information contact the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce by telephone at 715-682-2500 or check them out online at visitashland.com