Finster Fest Homecoming To Paradise Garden Welcomes Folk Artists And Vendors

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Finster Fest, the annual festival honoring the life and legacy of Summerville’s famous folk artist Howard Finster, will return to its flagship location at Paradise Garden May 28-29.  

Previously, the fest was held at Dowdy Park with shuttles to Paradise Garden for tours only. The move will give the more than over 1,000 projected attendees the opportunity to explore the full garden while streamlining the experience for all, including vendors and volunteers.   

The fest has drawn folk artists and fans from across the country since its inception in May of 1991. The homecoming celebration includes an expanded roster of more than 50 well-known folk artists such as Bebo, Peter Loose, C.M Laster and Grace Laster, and Missionary Mary Proctor.  

In addition to vendors, attendees can also enjoy live music, crafts and food with the $5 admission fee, which benefits the ongoing work of Howard Finster Paradise Garden Foundation. After the fest, attendees can move to downtown Summerville to enjoy a free outdoor concert at 7 p.m. 

“Moving the fest back to Paradise Garden helps to highlight all of the restoration work we’ve accomplished, while still reminding people we have several big projects that will benefit from this event,” Jordan Poole, executive director of Howard Finster's Paradise Garden said.  

Howard Finster, one of America’s most widely known folk artists, began creating what would become Paradise Garden in 1961 with found recycled materials to celebrate what he called the "intentions of mankind.” He produced more than 46,991 pieces of art before his death in 2001. His work has been featured in numerous museums including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Baltimore at the American Visionary Art Museum and on album covers for R.E.M. and Talking Heads. 

For more information on the event and participating artists, visit

Finster Fest will be held Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, May 29, from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

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