This weekend an estimated 20,000 people will descend upon the Lawrence University campus to celebrate the arts and partake in festivities. Celebrate! will take place on Saturday, May 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., just in time for reading period.Celebrate! is Lawrence University’s spring festival, which began in 1975 as a replacement for the Renaissance Fair, which ended two years before. Celebrate! attempts to unite family fun with an appreciation of the arts and, as such, has been alcohol free since 1999.
More than 200 arts and craft booths will appear all over campus, which will feature hand-crafted and fine arts items. Other attractions, such as a roving mime, a police car and fire truck demonstration, and the presence of none other than Ronald McDonald assure that a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
With four different music stages, a plethora of wonderful sounds will accompany all who attend on Saturday. Lawrence’s very own groups, The Committee and the Sambistas, will be playing at the Wriston amphitheater at 12:45 and the Library plaza at 12:00, respectively. For all the pop fans out there, though, the highlight of the show will definitely be the Blessid Union of Souls, well known for their “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me)” and “I Believe.” The Blessid Union of Souls headlines at 4:00 p.m. at the Main Stage.
Other worthy presences include the Hillcats and Phat Phunktion from Minnesota, Chicago Samba and the Jackie Allen Group from Chicago, as well as local groups such as the Cool Waters Band and the Janet Macklin Quartet from Appleton and Oshkosh.
An extensive children’s stage will allow for family entertainment, featuring clowns, puppets, and singers. Interactive demonstrations such as a petting zoo, face painting, miniature golf courses, and an inflatable obstacle course will also be available. Performances will last from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Numerous sponsors are to thank for the activities and performing artists this year. Several organizations from Lawrence University sponsored entirely or in part three of the four music stages. These organizations are LUCC, which helped sponsor the Main Stage, the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, which helped sponsor the Jazz Stage, and the LU Arts Umbrella, which sponsored the aptly named Lawrence University Arts Umbrella Stage.
A Student Activity Grant from the Class of ‘65 also provided support for the Main Stage. Community sponsors, such as Piggly Wiggly, Associated Bank, 95.9 KISS FM, State Farm Insurance, and Fox Cities Newspapers have helped immensely to make Celebrate! 2001 possible.