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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Art Around Towne: Another Fort Thomas Success

Bella Keller of Belladance, ties on a balloon to one of her biggest fans at Art Around Towne, in front of the Hiland Building where their studio will be. 

Oil painting by Zijah Popaja,

As I walked around last Friday at the Art Around Towne event, it was easy to get caught up in the excitement and social atmosphere of this free event. Running into friends and neighbors were just an extra bonus to this cultural celebration.

Detailed oil paintings, exquisite pottery, and unique jewelry were just a few of the collections available from over 35 artists and artisans.

Handcrafted jewelry by Tori Meeker who owns Hop Hearted

Inspired jewelry by Eva Foose and Marcela Raskova, from their shop, Shelalee
Colin Shadwell was receiving a lot of interest in his pottery. He teaches art at Highlands Middle School and a pottery class at Highlands High School. “I’ve had several sales and I always enjoy getting a chance to meet people in the community,” he said.

Colin Shadwell, at his booth displaying his beautiful pottery
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Fort Thomas Central’s gift shop, the originator of the Art Around Towne event, had a lovely display of unique gifts. Barb Thomas, the owner of the gift shop, had her usual warm smile and was helping a long line of customers. Her parking lot hosted several artists, artisans, and the Trouvaille Traveling Fashion Boutique trailer.
Barbara Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central

The Trouvaille Traveling Fashion Boutique

A long list of food options were available including 15 North Pizza, Subway, a line of food trucks, Fort Thomas Coffee, local craft beers, wine — and for dessert — Fort Thomas finally got to experience Top This Donut, and The Colonel’s Creamery ice cream. They didn’t disappoint. Even with a swarm of eager customers, service was efficient and I, for one, really appreciated the creamy ice cream melting on my tongue on that warm summer evening.

Top This Donut opened for the first time in Fort Thomas that evening. Photo compliments of Top This Donut.

Colonel's Creamery hope to be open in Fort Thomas soon.

The live music under the clock tower created a festive atmosphere as you ate in the shade under the tent provided by State Farm, represented by Tracy Davis.

Relaxing music by the clock tower

Behind the clock tower was a large tent so you could enjoy your food in the shade.
Provided by State Farm, represented by Tracy Davis.

Walking around the clock tower green space was Steve Grote. He and his brother, Mike, are the new owners of the convenient store at 42 N. Fort Thomas, which they’ll be renaming Fort Thomas Convenient Mart.

“I’m walking around to see what the community of Fort Thomas is looking for in a convenient grocery store,” said Steve Grote.

He described their many renovations including replacing the floor, ceiling, paint, and lighting as well as their plans for a deli and a special craft beer section. He was passing out free homemade lemon drop cookies as he discussed their plans and I’m positive their business will be a success if they decide to include those cookies on their shelves! You can meet Steve and Mike Grote at the Fourth of July parade on July 2 in Fort Thomas.

I was truly impressed by the new Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices. It was much larger than I expected and sold not only hundreds of unique and top-quality spices, but a large selection of teas and other unusual items. If you’re looking for that perfect blend of spices to use at your next barbecue, you definitely need to check this place out. The employees really know their stuff and were able to answer all my questions. Their free lemonade, tea, and appetizers were a big draw that evening.

De Stewart and one of his helpful assistants at Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices

Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices had a large crowd all evening.

I left the event with one of Aunt Flora’s peach cobbler pies, some spices, several gifts, a full stomach, and a firm commitment to go to the next Art Around Towne events on July 15 and August 19.

Aunt Flora with her cobbler pies. She's appeared with Martha Stewart and was on the Oprah Winfrey show.

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