Justice Martin, 7, of York City, chips in to help with the community painting project sponsored by The Parliament during the Yorkfest Arts Festival on
Justice Martin, 7, of York City, chips in to help with the community painting project sponsored by The Parliament during the Yorkfest Arts Festival on Sunday. (John A. Pavoncello photo)

York City came to life on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Thousands of people, some travelers, made their way through downtown, surrounded by live music, paintings, stained glass, jewelry and pottery. It was the 15th annual celebration of art, beauty and color known as Yorkfest, and it was well-received by many.

'Delightful little city': Although there was a booth for every taste, judges spent hours deciding which displays to award blue ribbons to.

As one of nearly 100 artists at the festival, Marjorie Bowers of Lilburn, Ga., won both the Award of Distinction and the People's Choice award.

Standing amid her gallery of black-and-white drawings of ghost towns and old buildings, such as Fawn Grove's own Garvine Mill, she mentioned that it was her first show above the Georgia line.

"I'm having the best show I've ever had," Bowers said.

She began drawing eight years ago, after her daughter Kelly died. Since then, she's hidden a small "K" and shamrock in each piece, and she's even began to open up to color: small spaces of red, blue and green here and there.

"I'll be honest with you: It saved my life," she said.

Although she travels across the country, York and its people were quite good to her, she said.

"Everybody's been so sweet. There's nothing I've wanted for," she said. "It's amazing. I didn't know there was so much history here."

Sandra Kaye, who won the Award of Excellence, also fell for the city's charm.

"I have enjoyed it," she said. "The weather's been amazing."

It was the West Lawn, Pa., resident's first year at Yorkfest, but she has worked professionally with kiln-fused glass for 19 years, she said, surrounded by colorful dinnerware and sushi trays.

"We have been pleasantly surprised by this delightful little city," Kaye said.

The masters: And just a couple of tents down, children were already getting started on their artistic careers, creating their own original prints in the style of Albrecht Durer.

Part of a curriculum that teaches children nine artistic styles from the splatter of Jackson Pollock to the sculpture of Michelangelo, the "Meet the Masters" program took off in its first year.

Molly Adler of New Freedom said she was excited when festival organizers asked her to organize the kids' tent this year. She owns New Freedom Art, a youth art studio with eight locations in the county.

"I felt honored having them ask me," she said. "I would love to come back next year."

The mobile art studio saw a lot of action this weekend, she said.

"(Saturday) we had all of our chairs filled constantly," Adler said.

That seems to be the theme of the weekend, as festival organizer Mary Yeaple was pleased with the turnout. Organizers estimate that about 15,000 people attended over the course of the weekend, she said.

"I think it's been a fabulous turnout," she said. "Of course, the weather was on our side."

-Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.