Many people from around the county, the state and from around the country came to Marceline Sept. 15 for Toonfest.
The annual festival brought four artists from around the country and a group from Brazil to Marceline this year.
This year’s Toonfest in Marceline saw many people attending the festival from around the world. Attendees came for the first time to view art and join in the events happening around the town.
Toonfest kicked off Saturday with a parade on Main Street USA. The parade started at 10 a.m. and featured the four artists invited to Toonfest, local businesses and one float representing Disney fans from Brazil.
Liza Donnelly from New York City, Ken Alvine from South Dakota, Kent Melton from Springfield, Mo. and Paul Trap from Omaha, Neb. rode through Marceline on vintage cars from a Kansas City, Mo. based car club. Later on Saturday, the artists gave symposiums talking about their work and how they were inspired by the work of Walt Disney.
In attendance at Toonfest, was Bill Grime. Grime is a Meadville resident and has been coming to Toonfest for the past nine years. Grime enjoys meeting the artists and collecting their signatures for his collection at home.
According to Grime, he always finds time for Toonfest.
“This is one of my favorite weekends of the whole year, I always make sure to come,” Grime said.
Grime, Trap, Donnelly, Alvine, Melton and more received awards for their work with the festival Saturday. Each of the artists and other designated attendees received pieces of wood from the dreaming tree. Paul Fell also received an award for the work he has done for Toonfest.
Fell received a ceramic cottonwood leaf for his 20 years of continued support. Fell attended Toonfest for the first time in 2000. In 2001, Fell was a featured artist at Toonfest. Since then, Fell has helped organize the art exhibits and bring many cartoonists to Marceline.
Fell says the festival is easy to plan.
“It’s gotten much easier to invite people over the years,” Fell said. “The artists have such a good time, they tell their friends about it and then the next year they come too. Now I get people calling me finding out how they can come to the next Toonfest.”
Heitor Bover and Duda Orlando visited Marceline Saturday with a group representing Disney fans from Brazil. The pair are part of a business program that focuses on immersion through the life of Walt Disney. The group has been to Disney’s birthplace in Chicago earlier this summer and is headed to Kansas City, Mo. next to see where Disney started cartooning.
According to Orlando, she thinks Marceline is lovely.
“It’s a very beautiful place and it’s so nice to meet everyone here,” Orlando said.
The pair grew up in Brazil, but now live in Orlando, Fla. Bover and Orlando visit Disney World weekly. Bover’s favorite attraction is Pirates of the Caribbean and Orlando’s is the Avatar attraction. According to both of them, Disney is very well known in Brazil.
Heitor says it was the experience of a lifetime.
“To be in the place Disney spent his childhood and came up with the ideas for his cartoons and the parks, this is a dream come true,” Heitor said.