Mayor Chris Beutler today announced a new series of public arts festivals at Union Plaza called "Party in the Parks." The first festival is from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 29 and will feature live music, visual arts, food vendors and kids' activities, such as a Rubber Ducky Race. No admission fee will be charged. Future festivals are being planned for July 27, August 17 and September 28.
"Party in the Parks" is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of its "Art Works" initiative. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department collaborated with community arts organizations and civic leaders to receive an NEA "Our Town" grant to begin a summer entertainment series in the new civic event spaces, such as Union Plaza, Centennial Mall and Civic Plaza as well as public areas in the West Haymarket development.
"Festivals like this add to the community spirit of Lincoln and to our civic pride," said Mayor Beutler. "The new public spaces that have been created and the ones now being built will provide many new opportunities for residents and visitors to gather to enjoy the growing and diverse pool of visual and performing artists in the Capital City."
Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said Lincoln is one of only 80 cities to be awarded an "Our Town" grant to support family friendly arts activities that encourage creativity and create community identity. "Union Plaza in the center of Lincoln is the perfect place to begin this new effort to bring together arts organizations and the community," Johnson said.
In addition to NEA grant funds, the festivals will be supported by local sponsors, said Party in the Parks Coordinator Brendan Evans. "This is a great way for local businesses and organizations to become partners in presenting family friendly events open to the whole community," Evans said.