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The answers to the following questions explain the Wheaton Arts Parade (WAP) policies and guidelines for the Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival
What is the Wheaton Arts Parade?
The Wheaton Arts Parade is a day for citizens, artists, businesses, and civic organizations to come together, walking to celebrate art and the Wheaton community. At the end of this March for Art, the community gathers at a festival to continue the celebration. The day is inspired by the parade and the closure of roadways to motor vehicles so that people can walk and dance, play music and show off their art. The parade liberates the community's creative spirit from the confines of everyday life. Freed from their cars, people can appreciate Wheaton at a slower pace, as a walkable community. The highway becomes a path toward creativity and the arts parade calls the community to follow. The parade leads to a festival that continues the celebration of art and Wheaton's diversity. It is a time to gather in one place and eat together, to listen to music and readings, watch dance, view paintings and sculpture, to talk to each other and even make art. It is a chance for artists to exhibit and sell their work, but most importantly it is a time for local artists to be appreciated by the community and each other and for the community to see Wheaton's potential as an arts destination.
When is the Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival?
Sunday, September 22, 2019. The Parade begins as 10 am. The Festival exhibits and food sales open at the same time. Live entertainment begins after the parade. See the Line-Up for the schedule of performances.
The Parade will end around noon, depending upon the number of participants. The Festival will end at 5pm.

 

What if the weather is bad?
The parade and festival will take place “rain or shine.”  In case of severe weather, the decision to cancel will be made early the morning of September 22nd and posted on this website and on the Facebook page.
Where does the parade take place?
The parade marches up the northbound lanes of Georgia Avenue in Wheaton, MD from the intersection at Veirs Mill Road to Price Ave where it turns right goes to Fern Street where it turns right and passes the reviewing stand. The parade ends at Wheaton Veterans Urban Park. (See parade route map.)

 

Where does the festival take place?
The festival area encompasses Veterans Park, the Fern-Price Parking lot, and portions of Fern, Price, and Elkin streets. (See festival map.)

 

Where is the best place to watch the parade?
The wide sidewalks along the East side of Georgia Avenue offer excellent views. The parade stops at least twice along Georgia Ave to give dancers and bands a chance to perform. Spectators also enjoy watching the parade from the festival area as it passes the reviewing stand.
How much does it cost to attend the parade & festival?
The parade and festival are FREE. The entertainment is free. Artists will exhibit and sell their work. Food and beverages from local restaurants will be on sale. The festival area also is surrounded by numerous restaurants, bars, and food stores.
Do I have to be an artist to be in the parade?
On this day, everybody can be an artist. All you need to be in the parade is to make something and carry it, pull it, push it, wear it, or do it -- a painting, sculpture, mask, puppet, costume, dance, song, whatever. You can work alone or as a group -- as a family and neighbors, as a community organization, as a school or business. The most important thing is to have fun. Children younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Do I have to live in Wheaton to be in the parade?
No. Although the parade celebrates the Wheaton community and Wheaton and Montgomery County artists, the parade invites all artists to participate from far and wide. As a Maryland Arts and Entertainment District, Wheaton hopes to attract artists to live and work in the area and the parade is one way of showing that Wheaton is an arts friendly community and an arts destination.
Can I perform at the festival?
The Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival is a chance for local performers to strut their stuff. Musicians, dancers, and performers of all kind can entertain while marching in the parade or on one of the festival stages. Last year’s festival entertainment ranged from puppeteers to poets, from rock music to rap, from Irish dance to tap. If you want to perform, just register here and tell us what you would like to do.
How much does it cost to be in the parade & festival?
There is no charge to walk in the Parade.  Registration is required. Same day registration is permitted at the parade assembly area no later than 9:30am. There is a fee to have a festival tent (10’x10’ with 6' table, 2 chairs, and sign). The fee helps to cover the cost of tent rental. Discounts are offered for artists and to encourage participation in the parade. Tent Fees: 1) artists in parade $75; 2) artist not in parade $125; 3) community organization in parade $100; 4) community organization not in parade $150; 5) food vendors $200. Sponsorship at the Platinum and Gold levels includes a festival tent. Bronze and Silver level sponsors may use a festival tent for an additional $200.

 

How do I register to be in the parade or festival?
You can register on-line at www.wheatonartsparade.org/registration. If you have difficulty registering, please request assistance at info@wheatonartsparade.org. If you want to be listed in the program, you must register before September 1, 2019. If you want a tent to exhibit your art in the festival, you must register and pay the fee before August 16, 2019.
What kind of art can be in the parade?
There are no limits to the kinds of art that can be in the parade as long as it is "hand made" and is “people-powered.” Motorized vehicles, other than wheelchairs, are NOT permitted. The content of parade art is as unlimited as the imagination of the artist, but artists should keep in mind that the spectators will include families and children. The parade is a welcoming celebration of art and does not split philosophical hairs about the definition of art or the distinction between art and design. However, art/design that has the purpose of advertising a real business or product or of promoting a real political campaign is not permitted. Of course, this does not mean that art/design cannot have a social or political or economic message. Parade art can be grouped into four categories: 1) Art you can wear: costumes & masks, puppets & other objects; 2) art you can carry: puppets & banners, posters & signs; 3) art you can wheel: floats of all sizes that can be pushed or pulled; and 4) art you can perform: musicians, bands and dance groups. In making parade art, there are three important considerations: scale, mobility, and stability. The parade is outdoors and spectators cannot get a close look at artwork from the sidewalk. Therefore, the scale of artwork needs to be large enough to be to be seen and appreciated.  Your parade art needs to be light enough to be worn or carried by one or more people, or able to be moved on some kind of wheeled platform. Art also needs to be structurally sound enough to survive a half-mile walk and the bumps in the road, gusts of wind, and the shaking by people moving it. Artists need to make sure there are enough people on hand to get the art safely to the end of the parade. The more the merrier. At the end of the parade, floats can be displayed at the festival. The Wheaton Arts Parade is working with One Montgomery Green to make this an environmentally friendly event. Please make arrangements to transport your art to the assembly area at the start of the parade and to remove your float and parade art after the festival ends.
Who can exhibit at the festival?
The festival is a chance for the Wheaton community to get to know its artists and each other, for artists to exhibit and sell their work, and for the community to see Wheaton's potential as an arts destination. The exhibition tents are a showcase for artists from the Wheaton and Montgomery County area. However, artists from outside Montgomery County also are invited to to exhibit and sell their work. The Wheaton Arts Parade hopes to show visiting artists that Wheaton is the kind of community where they might like to live and work. Community organizations, government agencies, political candidates, and sponsors also may rent festival tents and exhibit their support for the arts. Because of space limitations, priority will be given to local artists. Exhibition space is allocated through the on-line registration form. There is a fee to have a festival tent to help to cover the cost of tent rental. Prices are set to encourage participation in the parade and to provide discounts for artists and community organizations. Fees are listed on the registration form.

 

Can a business exhibit at the festival?
A business that is a sponsor may have an exhibit tent at the festival for the purpose of providing information about the business’s art programs or its support for the arts, or to use its exhibit space to demonstrate art making, or to conduct children’s art activities. A Sponsor's tent may be staffed by the business's representatives and printed materials about the business may be distributed. Sponsors' tents are complimentary for Platinum and Gold level sponsors. Silver and Bronze level sponsors must pay for the cost of the tent. If a sponsor does not intend to use its exhibit tent for its own purposes, it may donate its exhibit space to a local artist. No video or recorded audio advertising is permitted at the festival.
What kind of art can be exhibited and sold at the festival?
WAP embraces a broad definition of art. Artwork and crafts that are handmade by a festival artist may be exhibited and sold. All work must be original and should not infringe on copyrighted material. Imports (other than art made by the exhibitor), kits, items made from kits, items using commercial patterns, items assembled from pre-manufactured components, items made from elephant or whale ivory, commercial t-shirts, or arts and crafts supplies MAY NOT be displayed or sold. Caricatures, face/body painting, and art made by artists during the parade or festival may be sold. Permanent tattoo art is not permitted. If design art is associated with promoting a business the exhibit must follow the policy guidelines for business exhibits. The Wheaton Arts Parade is not responsible for any transactions between artists and the public. Transactions take place in the individual exhibition space that has been rented by the artist. Transactions, including the sales price and collection of sales tax, are the responsibility of the artist or the artist’s representative. Artists should provide customers with a written receipt for all purchases and make customers aware of their return policy.
Does the artist have to be at the exhibit?
The festival is about appreciating the artist, the maker, as much as the art. It is a chance to meet the artist creator. Therefore, the artist exhibitor is expected to be with his/her art exhibit throughout the day, as much as possible. It is the artists responsibility to ensure that the exhibit tent is staffed at all times.
Can I get help making art for the parade?
The Wheaton Arts Parade conducts public workshops throughout the year to help residents make floats and other artwork for the parade. Check this website to find out dates and locations for upcoming workshops. WAP also awards a small number of grants to support the making of parade art.

How physically demanding is the parade?
The parade route is about one-half mile long and the pace is slow on mostly level paved city streets. (See parade route map.) The parade will stop at least twice for approximately 3-5 minutes to allow dancers, musicians and performers to entertain spectators along Georgia Ave. Participants need to be physically fit enough to walk this distance while “pushing, pulling, carrying, wearing or performing art” or they may need to have some form of assistance, such as a wheelchair, that will enable them to complete the route. If you are unable to continue walking for any reason, you can step to the side of the parade and signal to one of the volunteers for assistance. The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad will be on hand in case of emergencies. The weather can vary greatly in late September, so be sure to check the forecast as the date approaches and dress accordingly, and wear sunblock. There will be water stationed at two points along the route.

Can I parade with my dog?
Live animals, other than service animals, are NOT permitted in the parade and festival area. The festival area will be filled with people, some eating, some with children in strollers or in their arms. Pets, even those on a leash, have potential to cause a disturbance. Of course, appropriately leashed and licensed pets are permitted outside the festival area and on public sidewalks. Please be respectful of parade spectators and others.
What kind of signage is permitted on floats and parade art and accompanying performers and marchers?
Floats and parade artwork MAY include the name, logo, website or email address of the artist or group that made it along with the title of the float/artwork, if any. Sponsors of floats may be listed in the program but not on the art. The street is our "stage" and on this day it is reserved for art. Lettering should not exceed 8 inches in height or more than 30 characters. School groups, community organizations, clubs, scout troops, sport teams, marching bands, etc., may wear uniforms and carry banners identifying their organization, but the banner is not their art. Artwork should not contain political or social issue slogans as these words and messages cross into the realm of campaigning. But art does not have to shy away from social issues as long as its message is communicated in art, in images not words.
Can I advertise my business in the parade?
Businesses are encouraged to participate in the parade provided they are pushing, pulling, carrying, wearing or performing art, but artwork and costumes must not advertise or promote a product or businesses, except as specified by the policy on signage. Businesses that sponsor the parade will have their logos on banners hanging from the festival stages and on the back cover of the program. Platinum sponsors will have their logos on posters and on the banners that are strung across the state highway in downtown Wheaton. Businesses that sponsor artwork and floats will be acknowledged in the program and recognized by the Master of Ceremonies as the artwork passes the reviewing stand.
Can political candidates be in the parade?
Yes, political candidates can be the parade, provided they are pushing, pulling, carrying, wearing or performing art. Political campaigning is NOT permitted from the parade. A limited number of tents will be available for a fee in the festival area for use by political candidates and political campaigns.
Can religious organizations be in the parade?
Yes, religious organizations are part of the cultural fabric of our community and are welcome, even encouraged to march in the parade. Artwork, costumes, floats and banners may identify the organization but should not proselytize a particular religious belief. A limited number of tents will be available for a fee in the festival area for use by community organizations, including churches.
What kind of things can we toss or hand out to the spectators?
NOTHING should be tossed from the parade route. Parade participants must NOT hand out printed materials, food, candy, trinkets or any other thing from the parade route. Parade participants may “engage” the spectators in dance and song, with handshakes, and “selfies,” etc. Handouts and printed materials may be distributed from exhibits in the festival area.
Where do the parade participants assemble?
The parade assembly area is at 10913 Georgia Avenue in the parking lot between Best Buy and Fitzgerald Auto.  Enter from Amherst Avenue and check in. Parade assembly is from 7:00am – 9:30am. Parade participants are responsible for transporting floats and parade art to the assembly area and for removing them from the festival area at the end of the day. Floats and parade art that are not removed from the festival area by 7pm may be discarded.
Where do festival exhibitors drop off their stuff?
Drive to the festival area from Georgia Ave northbound to Price Ave and turn right. Go to Parking Lot on right and look for staff to guide you where to stop. Unload and check in. After unloading, turn right on Fern St in front of Reviewing Stand. You can park in the county garage or leave the festival area on Reedie Dr. The festival area is open for exhibitors to set up at 7:00am. All exhibitor and food tents must finish set up by 9:00 am.  Exhibit tents must be staffed from 10 am–5pm. Tear down must not begin before 5pm and should be finished by 6pm.

 

What do I do if there is a medical emergency?
The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad is providing First Aid support and has an ambulance located at the north end of the Festival area at the corner of Price Ave and Fern St.
Where can we park?
The County Garage on Amherst Ave is the recommended location for parking.