Aug. 13 2014 12:00 AM



As the Renegade Theatre Festival turns Old Town into a giant turntable of live theater this weekend, festivalgoers will need something to munch on. Anticipiating all those empty bellies taking in shows, Old Town will hold its inaugural ART Feast event, featuring 23 local artists, three food trucks and a neighborhood sidewalk sale. The art fair takes place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the food slinging will go from 1-4 p.m. The participating food trucks will inlcude Shimmy Shack from South Lyon (Michigan’s first allvegan food truck), Good Bites from Mason (featuring farm-to-table fare) and Wooden Spork from Brighton (with sandwiches, salads and taco plates).

Feeding off the energy of ART Feast, the Old Town General Store will hold its Off Center Art Festival. The festival will combine art, music and food tastings from noon-6 p.m.

“When we describe where we are located we always say off Center Street,” said Old Town General Store owner Rhea Van Atta “And we are also a little off center as a store, so we thought the name fit well.”

Van Atta said she found visitors to Old Town don’t often cross the road to the stores off of Grand River Avenue. The festival attempts to take part in ART Feast and to draw people their way. The festival is an extension of Van Atta’s vision for the store and courtyard.

“Most of the artists I am very familiar with — some are personal friends and most have products in our store,” Van Atta said. “We are going to have a nice variety of different art forms.” Visitors will find stuffed animals, recycled jewelry glasswork and jewelry made of Petoskey stones. The store will also feature wine from WaterFire Vineyard in Torch Lake.

Artists and craftspeople scheduled to display include Jojo Beans Barn recycled pallet furniture, Kathys Cracker Jack Pottery, Lou Anns Altered Attitude clothing, Nahnies Flip Top earrings and Rheas Punky Plants. Tracy Wolford of Tracy’s Sun Catchers and Jewelry will be at the festival selling Swarovski crystal and natural stone beaded jewelry and sun catchers. A regular at the store, she said the festival fits the store’s personality.

“A lot of this side of Old Town gets forgotten,” Wolford said. “The store has such an eclectic mix. The off-center idea is so perfect for what this store is. It’s a great draw to get people down to this end (of Old Town).”

Next door, Preuss Pets will hold its first-ever sidewalk sale, also in an effort to draw more people to the east side of Old Town.

“It’s a special event and we are hoping people will go past Turner Street to see what else is down here,” Van Atta said. 

Thursday, Aug. 14 >> Pizza Party at the Capitol
A minimum donation of $5 will get you a slice of pizza, a beverage and an ice cream at the third annual pizza party on the Capitol’s lawn. Hosted by the Michigan Education Trust and sponsored by Hungry Howie’s, the donations will benefit foster youth getting into colleges. The luncheon takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; donations from debit and credit cards can also be made online at

Friday, Aug.15 >> Moonlight Bootlegger 5K
Run from the imaginary feds over the hill and through the woods toward the finish line. Celebrate the end of the race the way our bootlegging predecessors would have celebrated the end of Prohibition: with booze, music and dancing. If only there was a speakeasy rest area loaded with cigar smoke, the illusion would be complete. 6:30-10:45 p.m. $28-$45. Ionia Recreation Area, 2738 W. Riverside Drive, Saranac. More information at

Monday, Aug. 18 >> Open Jam at (SCENE) Metrospace
Pat Zelenka leads an open jam — bring your instruments and play music with other musicians and anyone else interested in performing. 6-10 p.m. FREE. (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing. (517) 319-6832.

Wednesday, Aug. 20 >> Rocking on the River
Drop your anchor and belly up to the bar on the Michigan Princess as the band Charley Horse rocks Grand River Park on Lansing’s southwest side. Proceeds from food and drink sales go to Lansing’s Park and Recreation Youth Scholarship Fund. 7-9 p.m. FREE. Grand River Park at 3205 Lansing Road, Lansing. (517) 483-4277,