Festive time at Hillside Festival

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Families gathered around local artists while local musicians played in the background on Saturday during the fifth annual Hillside Arts, Music & Food Festival.

The annual festival celebrates all that LaGrange’s Hillside community has to offer — from restaurants to musicians to artists.

“The opening of both Cart Barn and Beacon Brewing Co. gave the festival roots,” said Maggie McDonald, the owner of Pure Life Studios. “We kept the talent to local artists; without trying to be bigger than we are, we stayed within the community and I feel that sealed the deal and gave off the vibe I have been wanting to create and showcase, which is one of cohesiveness and holding our own in an incredibly talented community that just wants to give.”

Some of the performers at the festival included Pascals Wager, AMENA Dance Fusion, Front Porch Collective, The Katie Olinger Band, Jay Elle, Trinton and Thomas Prater, Coral Douglas, Eddie and The Ivories, Conrad Johnson, Chattahoochee Rhythm Keepers and LaGrange Piano.

“I think it is getting the community together,” said Elia Baltes, the community development director for DASH. “Part of what DASH does is mobilizing that community and the leaders in that community and the businesses in that community — just mobilizing everyone, coming together for one thing. That is what the whole thing is about.”

For Hillside residents and vendors, the Hillside Festival offers the opportunity to showcase their work.

“We love it,” said Lea Watts, an artist at the festival. “This is my fourth year as a vendor. I think it brings a lot of interest to the neighborhood. It gives it a really positive image. I enjoy the music and the food. It has grown every year. It is a good family event.”

For local artists and artisans, the annual festival is a great way to get their work out into the community in a fun, positive atmosphere, like Watts was able to do with her Porchlight Art.

“It is a good opportunity to get my name out there to meet other artists,” Watts said. “It is nice to make some profit off of my gift and what I love to do.”

There were a variety of food vendors from the LaGrange area at the festival, anchored by Hillside’s restaurants.

“We are very happy with the variety of vendors,” Baltes said. “We actually put the food [together]. We are calling it our ‘Hillside Eats.’”

Great Wolf Lodge sponsored children’s activities at the Hillside Festival on Saturday.