Teri James could easily displace a hip or bruise a leg, as she struggles to manoeuvre around the giant piles of tents, tarps, signs, balloons, ribbons, table cloths, goodie bags, and countless other paraphernalia literally stacked into high walls in the Downtown Langley Business Association offices.
Finding room to walk through this maze of supplies is a hardship James is willing to live with, as she and her DLBA team prepare for Saturday's annual Arts Alive Festival.
In fact, the event organizer can't believe how excited she is about this year's show, that starts at 10 a.m. Aug. 18, on the one-way section of Fraser Highway.
All the entertainment, exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and activities will be focused in and around the stretch of Fraser Highway between 204th and 207th Streets, James said, expecting to have to shoehorn in the record number of vendors this year.
And following on what she calls the "tremendous success" of last year's arts festival - which attracted a record crowd of more than 10,000 people and 127 exhibitors - this year is going to be even bigger, James said.
There are more than 150 artists and artisans - from as far away as Prince George - who registered to be part of this one-day event.
"You name it, it will be here," she said, noting there are many new forms of art being brought to the show.
One artist, for instance, will be selling her paper machÃ©-like yard art, while another makes jewelry made from spoons and forks. And they'll join the usual suspects selling paintings, pottery, photographs, sculptures, glass blown art, handmade furniture, ceramics, candles, quilts, sewing, clothing accessories, jewelry, and more.
"We unfortunately had to turn people away," James said, noting vendors were still calling days before the festival. "It emphasizes how important it is to register early," she said.
"We've used every spare inch, including sidewalk berms, to fit everyone in- It's going to be an incredible show."
In addition to artists and artisans selling their wares, at Arts Alive, there will be many demonstrations, two stages with live entertainment, buskers moving through the crowd, and the popular Langley Advance children's venue featuring activities, face-painting, chalk art, and other interactive fun for all the aspiring young artists in attendance.
Recognizing the large number of families that attend this popular August event in downtown Langley City, James has also reconfigured the floor plan for some of the exhibitors.
She's located about 20 of the vendors, those geared strongly towards kids, closer to the children's venue.
While James credits last year's highest-ever attendance numbers to the great weather that befell the weekend, this year's forecast for sun and increased efforts to attract more people from around the region are expected to net even bigger numbers for 2012.
As a way of saying thanks, participating downtown businesses have contributed to 1,000 goodie bags that Arts Alive organizers will be handing out as they walk through the crowd.
This is the 19th year for this event, and whether people have attended the Arts Alive Festival in previous years or not, James is recommending folks with any interest in art check out
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