April 17, 2021

Old Lyme Arts District Announces a ‘Centennial Summer’ for 2021, Midsummer Festival Returns 2022

The historic Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme celebrates its centennial this year. The Old Lyme Arts District plans to celebrate this event throughout the summer with an all-new ‘Centennial Summer.’

OLD LYME — A Centennial Summer of arts and music events is being planned this year by the Old Lyme Arts District while its Midsummer Festival returns in 2022.

Organizations on Lyme Street are considering offering smaller cultural events throughout the summer, which will allow for flexibility during a year when businesses and nonprofits are working toward returning to “business as usual.” The Centennial Summer theme is based on the 100th anniversary of the Lyme Art Association and the opening of its gallery in 1921.

Planning for the Midsummer Festival typically begins in January, with early fundraising needed to produce the annual event which usually draws several thousand visitors from across the area. Although Governor Lamont has lifted many restrictions and says summer festivals can anticipate returning with social distancing and other measures, he acknowledged that another rollback was possible if more contagious variants of the virus take hold.

The Midsummer Festival organizers stated that waiting an extra summer will lower the risk of last-minute event cancellations due to COVID-19 variants or delays in vaccines. 

Instead, a Centennial Summer would be a way for each business or nonprofit to offer their own art and artisan sales, small concerts, or hands-on events during the summer. This will ensure smaller crowds and give local residents a taste of different aspects of the traditional Festival throughout the summer, while giving the organizations the ability to change dates or capacities based on up-to-the-minute mandates by the State.

“There may be an artisan fair on a lawn one weekend or a picnic with a live band another weekend,” explains Katie Huffman, chair of the Old Lyme Arts District, adding, “This approach for 2021 gives each partner the opportunity to have offerings they can easily manage while reactivating their businesses.”

Partner organizations are spending the next several months ensuring staff members can receive vaccinations (particularly those staff in their 20s or 30s who are several months away from being fully vaccinated), creating new protocols for returning to full occupancy, and bringing volunteers back to support daily operations.

The Florence Griswold Museum is postponing its Friday night Midsummer lawn concert and Bohemian Street Fair until 2022, two major draws to the Midsummer Festival.

The first weekend in August, the Lyme Art Association will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the gallery with a range of events and activities for families, artists, art lovers, and supporters.

The Old Lyme Arts District is a partnership of a dozen organizations that collaborate to promote the arts and cultural offerings on Lyme Street. Announcements of the Centennial Summer activities and events will made be in late Spring or early Summer, and can will be found at www.OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Editor’s Note: LymeLine.com is proud to be a sponsor of the Old Lyme Arts District. As ‘Centennial Summer’ events are finalized, we will include details of them all in our Community Calendar, our newsletter and on our website.

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