Hickory – On Saturday, August 18 from 10am to 2pm, outside the SALT Block, come wrap up summer vacation and the start of a new school year at HMA’s Summer BlowOut! It will be a family event with everything from bouncy houses, balloon art and face painting to healthy snacks and food trucks. The rest of the SALT Block will be also filled with fun activities from the SALT Block Foundation, Catawba Science Center, Western Piedmont Symphony, and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library.

In addition to the four bouncy houses from It’s My Party Rental, the face painting and the balloon art, a friendly petting zoo with animals from Hickory’s Livin the Dream Farm will be visiting, and also a Hickory Fire Department firetruck and firemen. Inside the museum there will be tours of the exciting BlowUp Inflatable Contemporary Art Exhibit at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm, or you can wander through all of the museum’s exhibits on your own.

Between noon and 2pm, soothing live music will be provided by the woodcarver, guitarist and storyteller Joe Justice of WindSongs. On his website, Joe describes his music as “Original meditative music… inspired by the famous Vollis Simpson Whirligigs.” Joe was one of the recent renovators of HMA’s garden whirligigs, and he says that “These musical arrangements are a tribute to the folk artist’s life and his work.

”Throughout the event, HMA & the Autistic Education Foundation will be providing some hands-on art activities for visitors. Other fun on the Block that day will include a Robo Show presented by Carolina Combat Robots at the Catawba Science Center, along with shark feedings and planetarium shows; and the Western Piedmont Symphony will be staging a musical Instrument Petting Zoo where you will be able to experiment with the feel and sound of a range of orchestral instruments.

When you get hungry or thirsty, you will have a choice of goodies from several food vendors. Lowe’s Foods will provide Cupcakes & Healthy Snacks, the Hickory Sandwich Shop will offer familiar basic fast-casual food, and Essie & Olive, owned and operated by locals David and Deanna Talbert, “specialize in gourmet frozen and functional food pops made from whole fruit and natural ingredients picked at peak seasonal freshness” says their web page.

HMA would like to thank the BlowOut presenting sponsor for the day, the Autistic Education Foundation, and in-kind sponsor It’s My Party Rentals for their collaboration and support of this event.

We would also like to thank HMA Annual Sponsors Alex Lee Incorporated and Sturtape Technologies, LLC.

Look for even more details about BlowOut in the coming weeks on HMA’s website at hickoryart.org.