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Art on Lark 'makes more sense' than Larkfest for some Albany businesses - The Daily Gazette

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Lark Street will come alive this Saturday as Fall Art on Lark returns for a day of art, music and community.

The street fair, which is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature music from bands like Capital City Crook and Sullivan’s Smirk Jerkers, more than 100 vendor stalls from jewelers, painters and more, as well as restaurants and local businesses lined along Lark. A The Farmer’s Market and Community Resource Fair will also be present at the event, and more than 4,500 people are expected to be on the streets at any one time.

“It’s a very family event, a community event,” said Shauna Collins, one of the organizers with the Lark Street Business Improvement District. “It’s a very positive vibe.”

This will be the second year in a row that Fall Art on Lark will replace the annual LarkFest after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lark Street BID to scale back operations.

“COVID obviously impacted everything – primarily for the Lark Street BID, it affected our ability to put on such a massive event,” Collins said. “We’re running out of bandwidth, basically, to run big events and not lose money.”

But while LarkFest won’t be making a comeback this year, Saturday’s festival will mark the biggest Art on Lark to take place yet.

“It’s the biggest Art on Lark we’ve had as far as artists and pop-up creators go and we have a lot of people selling for the first time so I’m excited to see what the street,” Collins said.

Additionally, according to Collins, some of the businesses on Lark Street prefer Art on Lark over LarkFest, especially those with art-driven business models.

“For our business itself, Art on Lark makes more sense because it’s an art event and we’re an art business,” said Brian Shea, owner of Alacrity Frame Workshop. He has participated in the Lark Street festivals since 2010.

For Shea, the best part of Art on Lark is being able to share her business with the large number of people who come to the event, a sentiment that rings true for many business owners, but especially for Shannon Dowen-Rhonda, the owner of Nyx; A Scratch Baking Co.

Nyx, which was founded in April 2021 and first operated out of a commercial kitchen, will open in a Lark Street storefront in about a month. This Saturday’s event will mark not only their first appearance at an Art on Lark event, but also their first opportunity to serve their cakes, cookies and bagels just steps away from their first brick and mortar.

“We can’t wait to get our stuff out and show people where we’re going to be,” Dowen-Rhonda said. “We’re thrilled, this is the closest we’ve come to opening our store.”

According to Collins, the future of LarkFest is unknown but, given the popularity of Art on Lark events, people can expect to see more annual series of street fairs.

Fall Art on Lark will take place on Saturday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Lark Street between Madison Avenue and State Street.

Free street parking is available in nearby Washington Park as well as along Madison Avenue and Washington Avenue. Additional off-street parking is available at parking lots 2 (72 Central Ave.) and 3 (327 Washington Ave.) nearby. Parking in off-street car parks is chargeable.

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Categories: Art, Life and Arts, Life and Arts