By Alyssa Schnugg
After being canceled two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic Oxford will finally get to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Double Decker Arts Festival.
The 2022 Double Decker Arts Festival will be held on April 22-23 in its regular format albeit a few tweaks.
Lee Ann Stubbs, the festival coordinator, said one of the goals for the upcoming festival will be to increase attendance during the Friday night event by booking a “high caliber music artist;” however, the musical lineup for the popular festival won’t be announced until late winter.
The Friday night event partners with the Thacker Mountain Radio Show and is held on the Square with musical acts and book readings and special guests.
Taking its name from the town’s authentic double-decker bus imported from England in 1994, the two-day festival has become a regional tourist attraction that brings in visitors from hundreds of miles away. Yet, it has also managed to retain the local festival vibe, and it’s still a place where people come each year to see familiar friendly faces, listen to great music, buy some one-of-a-kind art and sample Oxford’s well-known food offerings.
A community stage will be added to the festival to host local dance shows, martial arts demonstrations and other performances and displays by local businesses.
There will also be new and additional signs put up to help promote the event.
The official artwork for the festival will be the one selected for the 2020 festival by local artist Hannah McCormick since the festival was canceled that year.
It’s a colorful piece of artwork that features several iconic Oxford buildings sitting on top of a double-decker bus.
Standing on the ground looking at the bus is another Oxford icon – the late Ron Shapiro.
Applications for artists’ booths will go live on Nov. 15 on Zapplication.org.
“Right now we’re going full fledge as planned and I’m sure we’ll put some safety plans in,” she said. “We’re really excited to be back and aiming to be bigger and better this year.”
Holly Jolly Holidays
Double Decker isn’t the only event coming back “bigger and better.”
This year’s Holly Jolly Holidays will be 12 days long this year, starting on Dec. 1. The inaugural event in 2020 was held over one weekend.
Ice skating will be held at the Old Armory Pavilion, Dec. 1-12. The weekends will bring Santa visits, carriage rides and other activities. During the week, there will be special events planned.
A shuttle service from the parking garage to the ice rink will be offered to allow visitors an easier time of spending time skating and then returning to the Square to support local shops and restaurants.