It was a beautiful night for a walk Oct. 10 in downtown Hudson -- the sun was shining, the air was crisp and there was music in the air.
The HeART of Hudson walk began at 5 p.m. with a large kickoff at the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation on Streetsboro Street at 5 p.m., according to coordinator Amy Johns.
But I had arrived late and found my feet gravitating toward the haunting sound of Celtic music. Nikki and Pat Custy were performing on the fiddle and Irish wooden flute in front of Off Main Street Salon & Spa. The sound echoed down Clinton Street attracting others to the music. Inside the salon, Sue Kido displayed her jewelry, which was for sale.
Across the street was chalk artists Meagan Krapf working on a large flower drawn on the sidewalk. Children and adults could use the sticks of chalk to create their own drawings nearby on the sidewalk.
Johns said she had great feedback on the classes and the chalk artist.
"I know my daughters wouldn't leave that area and stayed around for a good hour," Johns said. "My 6-year-old told the chalk artist she wants to be an artist one day. It was so sweet."
Johns said the mix of merchants and locations allowed visitors to wander the downtown and stop along the way to enjoy the art.
I started wandering, studying the map one of the volunteers had given me and watching for the balloons that identified a site for an artist.
On Main Street, Richard Harrison was juggling knives in front of the Land of Make Believe. Shoppers were careful to keep a safe distance as was I.
Inside the Learned Owl Book Shop, Don Getz was talking to visitors about his landscape sketches.
So far, music, jewelry, art and a performer. The HeART walk had something for everyone.
Heading south on Main Street, I stopped at Keller Williams Chervenic where Ryan Humbert was playing guitar. Inside Diane Taninecz had her pate de verre and kiln-casted glass displayed on the counter. The glassware was both beautiful and fragile.
Nearby, John Slater was displaying is photography at Janet Rhodes Brings You Fair Trade. One photograph was of the Clocktower, seen across the street.
I crossed the Green and headed for the Old Church on the Green where the Hudson Society of Artists were displaying their artwork and teaching visitors how to use watercolors.
Hudson Society of Artist member Judy Pinckard was explaining her painting of sunflowers to Nancy Harrity of Macedonia. Nancy joined Joe Darvis of Stow for a lesson in painting while Hudson Society Artist member Ann Ferguson Kah worked on a watercolor sketch in the back of the room. I grabbed some fresh fruit before heading back to the First & Main Green.
Graffiti artists Bob Peck and Russ Sanderson were spraying away on their large canvases. I always thought graffiti artwork took a few minutes to create but both artists worked on their complex creations until dark.
I loved watching contact juggler Caty Petersilge, whose makeup and costume made her blend in with the fall foliage as she moved a ball around in a fluid motion. A baby, about 8 months old, was fascinated by her performance and just as much fun to watch. It didn't take long for a group to gather on the corner to watch her. On the opposite side of the green, the sound of saxophone player Norman Tischler floated in rhythmic waves as the sun began to lower in the western sky.
The final act I caught was Todd V, a speed painter who asked several children to help with his project. He squirted paint onto a large canvas, moved it around with his hands and then added more paint while music played in the background.
I agreed with Johns that Todd V's speed painting was a hit.
The light began to fade, and I realized I hadn't even seen a fraction of the displays and artists on the walk. Maybe next year.
Johns said visitors enjoyed looking at the art, shopping and the entertainment.
"We are receiving wonderful feedback from our artists and entertainers," Johns said. "The merchants are also very happy with the traffic they received that night."
The HeART of Hudson walk is a project of Leadership Hudson, class of 2011-12. The Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower developed the Leadership Hudson program in 2002 to focus on building leaders in the community. Each member attends classes to learn about government, business, leadership and community opportunities.
At the end of the year, each class develops a project to benefit the community.
"It's a great event, and I'm happy to be a part of it," Johns said.
Other projects include Taste of Hudson (2003), the Veterans Memorial at Markillie Cemetery (2005-06); Hudson Farmers Market (2006-07); Screen on the Green (2010-11) and Race to the Taste (2012-13).
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing