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Construction in Paw Paw causes disruption of popular festivals

Construction in Paw Paw causes disruption of popular festivals. (Zach Lawler WWMT)

PAW PAW, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Road construction is slowing down traffic, but also slowing summer entertainment in Paw Paw.

Several work zones are spread across the area and one of the projects forced Uncork the Arts, a popular Paw Paw art festival, to cancel for this year.

Ginger Smietana has more time on her hands to work in her art studio. The custom metal pieces she crafts at Ed Gin Creations would have been something on display at Uncork the Art, but the 2017 festival has been cancelled due to construction.

“A lot of people are like, 'Why aren't we doing it?' Well, it's very, very difficult,” said Smietana. “Construction down here, traffic is very difficult, parking is difficult, tough to move around.”

Several projects are underway in Paw Paw and Smietana said the work is needed to keep up with the increasing traffic in the area.

“Tremendous amount of traffic. I realize that we have to do things with the streets, they have to be done and we can't do them in the winter. We have to do them in the summer,” said Smietana.

Smietana explained the work zones have also shifted plans of other popular events in town.

“Paw Paw Days is next weekend and it's going to be held at Tapper right down the road on Kalamazoo St. It's not where it normally is,” said Smietana.

The metal smith said she knows the community is willing to sacrifice a couple events and extra travel time because the road work is needed.

In the meantime, she said people still interested in supporting the arts can join the Southwest Michigan Artist Association during a dinner and auction on October 28, which will be held at the Paw Paw Lions Club to make up for the cancelled Uncork the Arts.

“To get art in front of the community so they can see it, they can experience it, they can feel it,” said Smietana. “The art association needs to raise funds for scholarships to keep the art out there in the public and teachers and because we do a lot.”

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