Michael Harthorne
Attendees enjoy art, music and food at the Ballard P-Patch during Art in the Garden 2009. The festival returns for its 10th year Aug. 21.

Art in the Garden Festival returns today

For neighborhood residents ready for a break from the crowded, noisy summer street festival scene, the Ballard Art in the Garden Festival is here to help.

The annual festival at the Ballard P-Patch returns for its 10th year Aug. 21. Event Chair Kelly Ryan said he credits Art in the Garden's longevity to the venue.

"The whole concept of music and food and art in a garden is so relaxing," Ryan said. "There's something pretty special about walking around and smelling that food and hearing that music."

The nature of gardening itself has also helped keep the festival going for a decade, he said.

"Gardening is a thing that once you get it in your system, it doesn't go away," Ryan said. "It's a lifestyle."

Ryan, who is also a gardener at the Ballard P-Patch, said the festival is a way for gardeners to showoff and give the community a taste of what can be done with the soil.

Now is a fitting time to do that, with long waiting lists for P-patches and parents starting to teach their children to garden again, he said.

"There is a real need for people to get back to the roots of the agrarian culture rather than the urban culture," he said. "It's just good for people's souls to do that."

This year's Art in the Garden Festival features 25 local artists, 10 musical acts, a flower sale, garden tours, children's activities, a bake sale, a puppet show, barbecue, a silent auction and more.

Ryan said they are keeping the recipe for the festival pretty much the same as in past years. Why mess with something that has been successful for the past nine years?

One change to Art in the Garden 2010 that Ryan said he is excited for is the addition of a couple of reggae bands to the musical lineup.

"If not specifically made for the garden, it's pretty darn close," he said about reggae music.

The 10th annual Ballard Art in the Garden Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Ballard P-Patch, located at Northwest 85th Street and 25th Avenue Northwest. Admission is free.

Ryan said he wants to get as many neighbors to come check out their sustainable urban garden as they can and hopefully get them back for an 11th year.

For more information on the Ballard Art in the Garden Festival, click here.

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