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Inaugural Celebration of Art Festival held in River Prairie Park

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ALTOONA (WQOW) - Poetry readings, live music, and dozens of vendors showcasing their handmade paintings, jewelry, and baskets: those were just a few of the things found in Altoona's River Prairie Park on Sunday during the first annual Celebration of Art festival.

Altoona City Manager, Mike Golat, said the event celebrates the role of creative economy in Altoona.

"River Prairie itself was built on raising up peoples passions, and certainly art and music are things people are very passionate about, so that's what we're here to celebrate," Golat said.

Put on by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation, the Celebration of Art festival was sponsored in part by the Pablo Center, Visit Eau Claire, Xcel Energy, Bakke Norman, and Prevail Bank. Prevail's Eau Claire branch manager, Brenda Knutson, said the local arts scene is something her company is happy to support.

"We are a community bank, and building relations is so important to us," Knutson said. "So we know this type of economy, this creative environment, is great for it."

Celebration of Art organizers said they hope this event eventually becomes the largest arts festival in the region.