Fred Oldfield has lived a long life, much of it centered on art and Mount Rainier.
As an aspiring artist and business owner just outside Eatonville in his earlier years, the 95-year-old cowboy now sees the foothills town as a home away from his Tacoma home.
“I was up there trying to be an artist,” Oldfield said. “Eatonville thought it was my own town.”
Trying to be an artist worked. He has been winning shows and selling works since the 1960s, and teaches kids at the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center near the Red Gate at the Washington State Fairgrounds.
This weekend, he will participate in the 42nd Annual Eatonville Lions Club Arts Festival along with his daughter Joella, who runs his Puyallup art center.
Fred Oldfield has never missed the event.
“It is kind of exhilarating to be around artistic people because they are interesting,” he said.
Joella Oldfield has been involved for about 15 years and she said that, unlike other arts festivals, the Lions Club event boasts a beautiful Mount Rainier backdrop and is void of commercial booths.
“It’s like an old-time festival,” she said.
Festival volunteer Betsy Harris said the event is family-friendly and showcases about 100 local and national artisans every year. Their work ranges from Western and modern paintings to jewelry and pottery.
In addition to supporting artists, 15 percent of the festival’s proceeds will help support the Lions Club’s charitable work, Harris said.
In a small town such as Eatonville, Joella Oldfield said every resident is impacted in some way by the charity.
“People come down and support the art festival because they know every dollar goes back into the community,” she said.
There will be food and live entertainment all weekend, kids activities such as face painting and storytelling, and a beer garden for adults.
Many artists also will create artwork during the event to sell at a live auction, Joella Oldfield said.
“There is truly something there for everybody,” she said.