Friday evening, Auburn’s downtown streets were shut down and the area was turned into an entertainment district for an art walk and parade.
The annual SummerNight Downtown Art Walk, hosted by the Auburn Arts Association, City of Auburn, Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center and the Downtown Merchants Association, featured many different booths, showcasing local and regional talent.
Hundreds gathered to enjoy Toomer's lemonade, listen to live music and interact with local artists and clubs. Many stayed until the last song played.
One business there was Lillian's Totes. Its founder, Lillian Ingersoll, said she started the company nine years ago as New Orleans was recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
“My sister wanted something really to represent New Orleans, and so I made her a bag," Ingersoll said. "From that, everyone started asking me to make bags. Nine years later, I’m still doing it.”
Ingersoll’s colorfully printed bags and totes drew a consistent line the whole night.
Guests could also visit a crochet booth, set up by Kathryn Linkner and Laura Barker.
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Linkner and Barker's booth also drew in a line of guests, who could browse their colorful, knitted, rainbow pillows, as well as their scrunchies. The pair also plans to possibly open a yarn shop in the downtown Opelika area in the future.
Holly Dunlap, English professor at Auburn University, was also set up at the Art Walk Friday night. While she was selling jewelry, Dunlap said she likes to make many different types of art.
“I do about as many different kinds of art as I can put my hands in,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap said that she believes recycling is important, and recycling plays an integral role in her business. She sources used and vintage jewelry to create something new, ranging from Star Wars to Harry Potter-themed necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
The Auburn Arts Association was also present Friday evening to advertise the events they hold, such as summer art camps for children, the Art Walk and an art exhibition in the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center.
Some attendees were ready to be back out enjoying large crowds after a year of struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had done basically nothing for the last year because of COVID and all, so to be able to be back … in the middle of Toomer’s Corner is awesome," said Jake Evans, senior in electrical engineering at Auburn University and pianist for the band The Chopping Block, one of the bands that performed at the event. "The whole city of Auburn is out here — it’s awesome.”
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