ROCK SPRINGS -- ARTember, this year’s fourth annual fall art festival, took place in Bunning Park on Saturday, Sept. 11. Locals and visitors enjoyed a full day of art activities, food vendors and live music.  

Debora Soulé, director of the Community Fine Arts and local artist, said, “Over the last year, we have been sharing ideas on why Art matters, whether it is for adding beauty to the world, finding a way of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings, or making a statement.  

“It is encouraging seeing the number of artists and patrons who came out Saturday for the fourth ARTember Festival. We are becoming a stronger arts community.”  

To kick off the event, a free one-hour yoga session was offered by Rock Springs resident Salina Zanetti.

“I am grateful and excited to help the yoga participants, to be a part of their yoga journey,” Zanetti expressed. “It gives me a sense of satisfaction, a thrill of motivation and the confidence as a Certified Yoga Instructor.” 

“I am excited to offer my services as a Yoga Instructor and a Breathing Coach to our community."

Residents and visitors stopped and listened to local flutist Stacee Corbett. 

The audience used their imagination as she explained the meaning or story to each song. 

Children of all ages made colorful spirals, circles and streaks as they squirted paint on paper as a volunteer pedaled on a bicycle. This process is known as bicycle spin art.  

Music headliners Richard Gilewitz and Tim May were the afternoon’s entertainment on the Bunning Park stage.  

Gilewitz amazed music lovers with his use of banjo style picking patterns, classical arpeggios, tapping and harmonics, along with his rhythm and beats.  

Meanwhile, May showed off his guitar, banjo and mandolin skills.   

Patriotism was evident in Bunning Park during the event as it was the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.  

The flag ceremony gave the public the opportunity to honor the memory of service members, first responders and civilians who perished during the attacks.

Men and women who are currently active or retired from the armed services arrived with a flag representing each branch of the military.  

“There was a change in the air as the Color Guard entered the park and prepared for the flag presentation for the first responders who lost their lives trying to save others,” Sandy DaRif, Arts and Culture Committee member shared.

According to DaRif, the silence and respect for the nation's armed forces grew in Bunning Park as the special ceremony continued.

Local guitarists and songwriters Steven Davis and Chuck Dittman played an acoustic version of “The Star Bangled Banner."     

“Some quietly sang the national anthem,” DaRif said. “It went from a lighthearted fun event to becoming solemn, with hands over our hearts, tears in our eyes during 'Taps' and noticing veterans saluting the flag.” 

DaRif concluded by saying, “Everyone knew we were honoring those who died for our freedom during 9/11. In Wyoming, I think it’s safe to say September 11th will never be forgotten and lives in all of us.”  

After the ceremony, a tree was planted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. 

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