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City of Auburn celebrates artists and businesses with annual culture event

SummerNight Art Walk

The city of Auburn is going vintage Friday at its 17th annual SummerNight Art Walk. The free event is downtown from 6 to 10 p.m. More than 60 local art vendors will promote their work, including a mobile art bus from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

SummerNight Art Walk
SummerNight Art Walk
SummerNight Art Walk

Each year’s event is fruit themed, and this year’s peach theme features music from Allman Brothers tribute band Eat A Peach and a Peachy Keen Culinary Contest, which gives residents a chance to showcase up to three peach-themed dishes.

The event will also feature annual favorites such as classic cars, a children’s craft area and the artist’s marketplace, but like this year’s theme, the city is offering something new this year. Back Porch Hit n Miss Ice Cream will offer churned, homemade ice cream. All ice cream is made exclusively from a vintage John Deere "Hit and Miss" tractor machine.

Emillie Dombrowski is an art education specialist for the city’s Parks & Recreation Department. She said the event is a great opportunity for residents to unwind during the summer while most college students are out of town.

“I think it’s important to get our community together,” she said. “So many times, in the summer, Auburn can get kind of quiet. And it’s a great time for the locals in Auburn to get together and have a good evening. I hope families come to this event. It’s family centered, and it’s in a downtown entertainment district. It’s just geared toward every age.”

The city anticipates more than 5,000 residents will attend this event. Local downtown restaurants and shops will also be open beyond normal business hours for visitors, and there is plenty of public parking in Auburn’s downtown decks.

But Dombrowski said it is not just residents who enjoy Auburn’s SummerNight Art Walk. Local sponsors also benefit from this annual event, including various media organizations and local businesses ranging from flower shops to ballet companies and eateries.

“The sponsors that do participate in SummerNight get coverage,” she said. “They’re seen on social media [and] they get seen in printed material. They’re down there at the festival, and they have booths you can go in and look at. It’s a good way for the community to see the local community sponsors that are here in our area.”

While admission is free and pre-registration is not required, Dombrowski does recommend travelers come to the city when the event begins. Roads in downtown Auburn will also begin closing at 5:15 p.m. to prepare for the event.

More information can be found at Applications for vendors and volunteers closed late May, but the city is still accepting applications for the culinary contest until Friday at 11 a.m.

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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