WARREN - If Kenneth Patchen were alive today, he could have seen hundreds of tributes to his art and poetry hoisted by children and adults parading around Courthouse Square in Warren on Friday.
It was the Trumbull Art Gallery's 10th annual Summerfest Parade, and colorful artwork comprising a myriad of materials was carried by the children who created the works.
This year's theme honored Patchen, a Warren native and 1929 Harding graduate who was both a poet and an artist. Patchen died in 1972.
"He became an internationally known poet. He was an innovator ... He was one of the first to combine visual imagery with his poetry," said Summerfest director Jacki Mountan, adding that Patchen also incorporated jazz music with his poems.
"We're most excited because of the 10-year anniversary. We're delighted, and we're delighted that the weather is nice and sunny for our parade," she said.
Most of the artwork was created by children in TAG art classes over the past several weeks.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Aiden Baumeier, 7, of Liberty, right, waves the American flag while hiding behind his paper-mache mask along with his brother, Alex Baumeier, 5, left, as they parade around Courthouse Square in downtown Warren during the 10th annual Trumbull Art Gallery Summerfest parade on Friday morning.
Gianna Guarino, 8, and Meleena Milender, 7, were wearing sandwich boards that they created during a class called "Beastie, Birdie and Me" taught by Lakeview teacher Michael Labbiento.
"I made a bird and a bird, and they're talking and they're excited for the parade," Guarino said.
Both of the girls' signs were also garnished with feathers.
"It's a bird and a beast and a boat. He's playing with his boat," Milender said of her sign, which featured a three-dimensional boat popping out of the cardboard.
Patchen published more than 50 books, and creatures such as the ones on the girls' signs were recurring themes in his works.
The girls spent four hours creating their signs over two classes.
"She loved coming to the art class. She's very excited to be in the parade and she can't wait to do it again next year," said Guarino's mom, Gina of Cortland. "It's a wonderful program. They really get to be creative and just use their imagination," Gina Guarino said.
AVI vending services provided free ice cream for parade participants, and art displays were set up all around the park. A collection of artwork created by Warren G. Harding students inspired by Patchen's imagery also was on display.
Following the parade, Summerfest and Noon in the Park merged with the big band sounds of the Top Notes.
Chalk on the Walk also was held at the Square, with children covering the sidewalks with even more color with chalk provided by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County.