If you drive through Veterans Park in downtown Springfield in June and July, you may stumble upon hundreds of empty lawn chairs and blankets.
The seats are often there to hold one of the highly coveted spots at the annual Springfield Arts Council Summer Arts Festival.
Tim Rowe is executive director of the festival. He says the event's popularity continues to grow.
"The community helps us sustain this. It’s quite unique," he says. "This is the only festival of its kind in Ohio, a six week-long festival with free admission.”
Attendance has seen a slight uptick the past few years to about 80,000 total. And it’s not just Springfield residents who are coming,
“We know that people attend not only from Clark County, but also around the region," says Rowe, "and it’s not unusual for some of the larger acts to draw attendees from several states' radius.”
Rowe says many attendees make a day of the festival, setting up their chairs up in the morning, then visiting the farmers market and a downtown brewery before settling down to enjoy the show in the evening.
This weekend’s festival lineup has a Country flavor.
Thursday, It’s bluegrass favorite Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, and the Saturday night offers a beer-and-wine tasting with the premier show: Springfield native-turned-Nashville success Griffin House.