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Paint-by-number mural is a highlight of fifth annual Grovefest

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2010 - Despite the rain, the fifth Grovefest went on as planned Saturday. The Grove's annual street party celebrates "the eclectic sights, sounds and unique flavor" of the neighborhood on Manchester Avenue between Kingshighway and Vandeventer. Restaurants opened their doors, painters brought their easels out, and musicians played music for the crowds strolling up and down Manchester Avenue.

The yearly fest is the Grove Community Improvement District's signature event, and Brooks Goedeker, one of the event's organizers, said that he believed that this year's turnout beat last year's. Besides food, music and art, the festival also featured a roller derby exhibit with the Arch Rival Roller Girls, a fashion show by Miss Ohio Vintage and a hair design show by Kolors Salon. The organizers wanted to include as much of the neighborhood's diversity as possible, said Goedeker.

Perhaps one of the most popular events at the festival was Grace McCammond's paint-by-number mural that hundreds of festivalgoers helped to complete. McCammond, who has designed murals each year for the festival, said this year's mural includes architectural elements of the buildings along Manchester Road.

Designing a mural that allows people of ages to help paint is a challenge, McCammond said. Every year, she said, she paints the top reaches of the mural that people cannot reach. She also leaves large spaces of sold color at the bottom for young children who are not yet old enough to stay in the lines. But while it takes more thought and planning, "it's exciting to see people be a part of something permanent in their neighborhood," McCammond said.

Four of the five paint-by-number murals can be viewed from Manchester road between Kentucky and Talmage Avenues.

Alex Sciuto is an intern at the Beacon.