Festivals: Folk festival fever

Folk Festivals in Atlanta 2001

Photo credit: Courtesy Howard Finster Fest

Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden has been called a vision of Eden, built out of a dump and constructed of trash. If that’s the case, more than 100 folk artists will be down at the dump this weekend.

The celebrated evangelical painter plays host to the Howard Finster Fest, which draws similarly rustic artists from a dozen states. According to Beverly Finster, the youngest daughter of the 84-year-old patriarch, Howard’s arrival at the festival will be less than subtle, showing up in a noisy, folk-art adorned antique hearse around 2 p.m. both days. Also crossing the gates of Paradise will be 11 musical acts, mostly bluegrass and folk bands, including some performing on homemade instruments.

Beverly says the artists will be selling their wares in tents throughout the gardens, creating a feeling of home for the visiting vendors. “It’s really just great having it here,” she says. “It feels like we’re one big folk-art family.”

The third annual Howard Finster Fest takes place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., May 19, and noon-6 p.m. Sun., May 20, at Paradise Gardens, 84 Knox St., Summerville. $5, $3 children. 1-800-FINSTER or www.finster.com??