Visitors stream onto Victoria Park for Art in the Park

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Barbara Prescott is making sure every square inch of Victoria Park in Petrolia is filled with art this weekend.

She is one of the members of the Art in the Park committee getting ready for the two-day event.

“We have 60 vendors plus six food vendors and three community partners this year,” says Prescott who is the registrar for the event which begins Friday. That’s a handful more than last year’s event.

Prescott says this year, half of the artists are from Lambton County and one third of the people showing their various art forms are new to Art in the Park.

“We have stained glass,” she says. “There are people who make soap, people who do photography, metal workers – the widest range of art you can think of.

“We strive for quality and diversity at the same time – that’s the balance,” adds Prescott. “The more we become popular, the hardest part of my job as registrar is to say no to some wonderful people.”

This year, artists and artisans will come to Petrolia from as far away as Toronto, Barrie and Peterborough.

The park will also be filled with music as artists have been scheduled throughout Friday and Saturday. Children will also be able to make their own art during the event.

And Saturday afternoon the crowd at the park is likely to swell as the Petrolia Rotary hosts its annual Youth Idol competition.

Prescott says this year the group hopes to ease parking concerns with a new shuttle service which will pick up at Bridgeview Park, Greenwood Park and at the corner of Dufferin and Glenview Drive (LCCVI).

While Prescott doesn’t think the ongoing construction hurt the event last year, she expects the shuttles will be well used.

And once people arrive, there will be lots to see. “We do our best with the small amount of space we have in Victoria Park to put as many vendors as I can in,” says Prescott. “The committee teases me that I find every square inch.”