Celebrate art at the Ben Wheeler June Bug Summer Fair

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BEN WHEELER, Texas (KETK) – The June Bug Summer Fair is back for its 9th annual year in Ben Wheeler. The family-friendly festival is headquartered in the three acre backyard of the FORGE Bar and Grill. 

The three-day event focuses on live art performances, featuring demonstrations like weaving, blacksmithing, glass blowing, pottery throwing and more. June Bug allows the community to get involved in the art-making process. 

“We focus on live art because we want people in our community to see how things are made and to see the artist in process. So, I Think that’s what sets it apart a little bit different.”

Sara Brisco, Owner of the FORGE

The annual summer fair kicks off on Friday, June 18 at 4:00 p.m. There will be live performances on the Saturday, featuring a Lira artist and a fire dancer. On the Sunday, there will be a farmers market where attendees can buy fresh and locally-grown produce. The festival will also host bands to play throughout the weekend. The music line up is as follows: 

Friday night:

Nick Brumley 6-8

Chris Oliver & Company 8-11

Saturday:

The Kirby’s 11-1

Stephen Brashear 1-3

Travis Bolt 3-5

Nathan Vasquez 5-7

Tin & Tonic 8-11 

Sunday:

Lauren Holt 11-1

TK Brown 1-3

Junebug after party 5-8

W/ Tanner Van Horn & 

Bucky Womble

This Van Zandt County gathering is free throughout the day, and after 7 p.m. there is a $10 cover to enjoy the bands. The June Bug Summer Fair is a big part of the Ben Wheeler Community, allowing everyone to share an appreciation for art and creativity. 

“I believe a lot of people here aren’t nearly as exposed to art. So, I think (the fair) adds another layer of appreciation for the arts in this community.”

Kerian Massey, Art Coordinator 

The June Bug Summer Fair got its start as a music festival in the city but has grown over the years into a bigger entity with the addition of art and the farmers market. The name “June Bug” is intentional and has a specific meaning. 

The ancient Mayans believe that june bugs are the “eyes of their ancestors.” When planning the original fair 9 years ago, the organizers remembered this and thought hard on what they would what their ancestors to see if they were to return for a fleeting moment. The community coming together to celebrate art was their answer.   To find out more about this year’s June Bug Summer Fair, visit their website.

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