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Historic 5k wraps up 12th annual Remington Festival


CANTON — For the 12th year in a row, the four-day Remington Arts Festival wrapped up Sunday with a 5k run and walk, beginning at artist Frederic S. Remington’s gravesite in Evergreen Cemetery, going through St. Lawrence University and the village and ending on Court Street, where the famous American artist was born.

“It’s unique in that it’s a historic 5k,” said Brooke E. Rouse, festival coordinator. “It goes through different points of his life in Canton, so along the way, people are taking a historic tour.”

Rebekah L. Wilkins-Pepiton, executive director of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, said that since many people do not know Mr. Remington was from Canton, the festival informs the community about how important the north country was to him.

“When they see Remington’s work, they begin to see that,” she said. “You begin to see it in a new light, and that’s what this festival is all about.”

Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton said the festival is always in conjunction with St. Lawrence University’s Family Weekend, to bring through more traffic for the artists selling work in the park.

“We always try to have a lot of activities for the families to be involved in,” Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton said.

Ms. Rouse said the festival gives downtown options to students’ families who are in town for the weekend.

Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton said the festival also is scheduled around Mr. Remington’s birthday. The artist was born Oct. 4, 1861.

The festivities began Thursday with a birthday party for Mr. Remington at the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York center, 53 Main St.

“It was the first time we’d done that, so it was really exciting,” Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton said.

The big day of the festival was Saturday, with an art show in the park. Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton said the show grew this year, with 24 vendors instead of the usual 15 to 20. “From pottery to jewelry, fiber arts, photography, we’ve had a really wide variety of artists this year,” she said.

Mr. Remington and his wife, Eva Caten, also showed up Saturday: Todd A. Moe, Norwood, and Shelly L. Pike, Canton, wore late-19th-century apparel and portrayed the Remingtons.

“This is Frederic Remington’s birthday weekend, so they asked us to be here,” Mr. Moe said. “It is the Remington Arts Festival, so the Remingtons should probably be here.”

Mr. Moe said he and Ms. Pike have volunteered and acted with the Grasse River Players.

Saturday’s events also included horse-drawn carriage tours of the village and a student art competition at Canton Free Library.

The competition’s theme this year was to find inspiration from nature in Mr. Remington’s work.

The first-place winners were Delaney Kerr, Clifton-Fine Central School, Star Lake, who sculpted a turtle, and Lesli G. Jandreau, Norwood-Norfolk Central School, Norwood, who entered a painting titled “Splash.”

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