City Brief: Black Swamp Festival begins Friday

The 20th annual Black Swamp Arts Festival begins downtown Friday at 5 p.m., offering a wide variety of attractions from food, live music and artwork from students and local artists.

The festival will have three stages set up: Main Stage, Family Entertainment Stage and Acoustic Stage on Main, which will host bands ranging from local artists to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Booker T. Jones, according to

One of the new features of the festival this year is that performing bands will be playing after-hour shows at Nate and Wally’s and Howards, said Barbara Ruland, director of Downtown BG.

On Saturday and Sunday, two fine art and craft shows will be displayed on Main Street as well, Ruland said.

“[The festival] is a combination of music, art and fun and there are lots of activities for children as well,” she said.

Ruland also said a quilt made from the past years’ festival shirts will be raffled off as well, making it a good collector’s piece. It is currently hanging in Ben Franklin Crafts.

Aside from the festival, Ruland said local merchants will be doing their own specialized activities.

The festival brings roughly 60,000 people into town, making a huge economic impact and it’s a great thing to be associated with a high-quality event, she said.

The University is offering transportation to and from the festival every 20 to 30 minutes during the festival Saturday and Sunday, according to campus update.

A shuttle will drop University faculty, staff and students with a University ID off at the Woodland Mall, Meijer, University Lot A and the corner of Wooster and Church Streets, according to the update.

For more information on music performances, art shows and food offered at the festival visit

When you can check out the Black Swamp Arts Festival:

Friday: 5 p.m. to midnight

Saturday: 10 a.m. to midnight

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.