As the early morning sun rose on Denton’s downtown Square, dozens of people young and old gathered to attend the 18th-annual Arts and Autos Extravaganza. Citizens could view vintage to modern model cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors, admire more than 100 pieces of chalk art, devour great eats and discover what’s new through the wide variety of vendors whether they be artists or businesses.
Denton Main Street Association marketing and events coordinator Christine Gossett, has organized the Arts and Autos Festival for 15 years. She has seen exponential growth in car registration and general event attendance.
A classic car sits on the Square during the 2017 Arts & Autos Extravaganza. (Photo by Sydney Cooper//Denton Live)
“We topped 250 registrations this year,” Gossett said. “I think it just shows that the community loves to come downtown and love the old nostalgia of the old cars, the downtown and the historic value we have down here. They have a great time, they love the music, the arts and crafts and all the things they can come enjoy. The word has spread, it’s a great show to come to.”
While walking down the filled parking spaces, everyone could view the engines, interior and polished exterior of each vehicle and even talk to the owners.
If you had the chance to visit the Denton Moto Collective booth you may have seen the variety of makes, model and years of motorcycles. Fabian Campos from the DMC, mentioned that it was the first time the company showed their bikes at the Arts and Autos Extravaganza.
“It’s cool to be able to see potential customers and for the public to come out and see our bikes,” Campos said. “We don’t have them on display too often so it’s really rad to see them come look and ask questions about them. It’s a neat opportunity to show off our work and answer questions.”
Not all vehicle lovers were Dentonites. Carlton Paulson and his girlfriend came to the festival from Garland to show others the love he has for his vintage vehicle and to reminisce on the good old days. His experience in Denton was no less than pleasant.
“We like all the little businesses, everybody’s been really hospitable,” Paulson said. “We went over to [Dix's Coney Island] for breakfast and the food was really, really good there. And I love this venue being in downtown Denton, it’s really nice.”
The chalk artists that enter Chalk Fest find inspiration in everything from flowers to cats to people. (Photo by Sydney Cooper//Denton Live)
A little ways down the road were sidewalks covered in colors due to the chalk art competition, organized by the A Creative Art Studio, including employee Aislynn Mossman, who has been competing for the last three years. Mossman hopes that visitors will get a feel what sort of town Denton is.
“I think Denton is inspired by the artists,” Mossman said. “I think events like this help kind of put them in the spotlight.”
If you were wanting to get out of the sun, you could head to the courthouse where vendors set up their products and work to display. Local maker Salted Sanctuary Soap is usually found at the Denton Community Market, but today owner Kimberly Bien brought her products to help support the Main Street Association. Bien hopes visitors can experience the community aspect that Denton has to offer.
“We are a diverse group of individuals who celebrate the same things,” Bien said. “It’s all about community. I hope visitors walk away with a strong sense of community.”
See below for more pictures from this year's Arts & Autos Extravaganza: