MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 30, 2014

Azalea Festival banners to be auctioned

By E.I. Hillin
Phoenix Staff Writer

— An auction at Honor Heights Park will give community members a chance to make a contribution and take home Muskogee memorabilia.

“It’s a project for public art primarily, and it’s a way to get people in the community a way to be involved,” said Joel Everett, Muskogee Parks and Recreation special events coordinator.

The Azalea Festival banners that decorated the city streets through the month of April can now decorate the home of the highest bidder. The mixer and auction is Friday evening at the Papilion at Honor Heights.

The money raised at the auction will benefit the Parks and Recreation Development Fund and the Muskogee Arts Guild.

The event starts with a mixer and snacks at 6 p.m. followed by the auction at 7 p.m. The event is free.

The banner auctions started in 1991, with 30 canvas banners. This year, there were 100 banners waving through Muskogee. Artists painted a variety of subjects on the banners from fairies and flowers to dogs and deer.

Everett said last year’s auction raised around $12,000.

“Last year was the highest gross I can remember,” he said.

To make a bid, register at the door to receive a bid number. The auction will begin with 10 banners selected by a jury of professional artists.

After the live auction, the other 90 banners will be available in a silent auction. Everett said the auction will go very quickly.

“If you want them, you kind of have to stake it out,” Everett said.

To get a jump on the bidding competition and learn who the artists of the banners are, go online to www.azaleabanner.com. Cash, personal check, Visa, or Mastercard are accepted for the purchase of banners.

The fundraiser isn’t only for those intending to purchase banners.

“It’s a social thing,” Everett said. “Come hang out.”

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Azalea Festival banner auction.

WHEN: Mixer begins at 6 p.m. Friday. Auction starts at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Papilion at Honor Heights Park.

INFORMATION: (918) 684-6302 or www.azaleabanner.com.