Art and food in nick of time

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Just when you were wondering what great entertainment might tide you over 'til the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo arrive, Art on the Green opens its aesthetic arms to you.

There's no better way to usher in the last full month of summer than by enjoying this fabulous arts festival anchored on the North Idaho College campus, and spreading eastward all the way through the heart of downtown Coeur d'Alene.

Art on the Green, now in its 44th year, is sponsored by the Citizens' Council for the Arts and is put on by hundreds of volunteers devoted to showcasing talented musicians, performers, artists and craftspeople. Music will fill the air on two stages for the next three days with classical, jazz, bluegrass and more, while more than 135 booths will compete for your rapt attention.

Wanderers will find treasures for purchase not just on the NIC campus, but in City Park and along Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene. The park is home to Taste of Coeur d'Alene, so named because in addition to arts and crafts booths, it's packed with food vendors offering a wide variety of ethnic dishes and a multitude of treats served up while entertainers perform on stage. The Street Fair downtown mixes savory dishes with an astonishing mix of goods for sale, including items you don't see around here any other time of the year. All told, the Street Fair boasts more than 250 booths.

The trio of events draws tens of thousands of visitors every August, but don't let that or midsummer heat scare you away. An efficient bus service will take you from one venue to another - free. All you have to do is reach downtown, where the bus picks up at the corners of Third and Sherman and Fourth and Sherman, and the rest of your travel worries are over.

Your greatest challenge will be taking it all in - the entertainment, the art and crafts, the vendors peddling their wares and the seemingly endless offerings of food. Thank goodness, the festival lasts three days, so you don't have to swallow the whole thing in one bite.

We commend the Citizens' Council for the Arts, the Panhandle Kiwanis for bringing us Taste of Coeur d'Alene, and the Downtown Association for hosting the Street Fair. The army of volunteers and professionals behind this weekend's festivities always puts on a great show. We salute them all.

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