If you prefer the soothing scents of lavender and lemongrass to the fumes of jet fuel, then you'll likely prefer to stroll through Howard Amon Park today than along Columbia Park.
Hundreds showed up Friday for the 64th annual Art in the Park sale before many of the arts and craft booths were scheduled to open.
Most wanted to stroll through the park before the crowds and the heat of the day arrived.
"Some of booths will open as soon as they see people in the park, no matter what time it is," said Seraphina Grant, 44, of Walla Walla. "But I like to come early before it gets too crowded."
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The festival continues today with about 250 Northwest artisans, crafters and musicians selling their wares from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. The show is sponsored by the Allied Arts Association of Richland.
By 10 a.m. Saturday, Howard Amon Park was packed with people, some sampling the gentle scents of candles and essential oils, others standing in awe of the racy art by Jill Haney Neal.
Neal's whimsical style involves delightful, well-rounded women with attitude.
"I like to empower my ladies while making them wildly happy," Neal said. Her ladies are featured on wine labels for various wineries, including Menopause Merlot, produced by Bitner Vineyards in Idaho.
And though some may feel a little embarrassed looking at Neal's busty dames having fun, the cartoonish paintings often evoked a smile from passers-by.
"Believe it or not, one of my paintings is of a mermaid called 'Busty Boo Boo,' and it sells out whenever I have a show," she said.
But the sidewalk show has as much interest for kids as it does for adults.
On Friday, kids were pulling their parents to the Monsters & Mayhem booth that was packed with all kinds of fun for children.
There were sparkly, colorful crowns with matching veils and adorable Tooth Fairy pillows for $5.
There also is a face-painting area, entertainment on the fingernail stage and the Sturgeon Cove playground.
Other booths feature whimsical windchimes, colorful pottery, artisan jewelry, stunning photography, wooden toys and other handmade creations.
Stan Cox was running his wife's booth, where they sold gelbands for $6. The bands are filled with opaque pellets that when soaked in water swell up so you can wrap the band around your neck to keep cool during the scorching summer heat.
Vendors also sell various food and beverages.
Parking near Howard Amon is limited, so Ben Franklin Transit provides a shuttle service today from the parking lots at Fran Rish Stadium at Richland High, 930 Long Ave., and Carmichael Middle School, 620 Thayer Drive.
Buses run every 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost is $1.50 and seniors and the disabled ride for 75 cents with a transit identification card. Kids 5 and younger ride free as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There also is a $4 family rate for up to five people.
Entertainment today includes:
9-10 a.m. -- Academy of Children's Theater
10-10:45 a.m. -- Hanford High School Fame Camp
4:30-5:30 p.m. -- Mid-Columbia Symphony
5:30-6:30 p.m. -- Steel drum band Bram Brata
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com; Twitter: @dorioneal