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(PHOTOS) Art, music and hot-air balloons at first day of NIC Fest

Hannah, Lane and Eliza sell water outside of Wyld's booth at NIC Fest. Lane composed a jingle to attract customers. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — NIC Fest 2022 kicked off Friday after two years of hiatus.

The area around the Nicolaysen Art Museum was filled with food and beer vendors, live music, art and fun family activities. The NIC’s four muralists began their pieces at different places around the building.

The Artists’ Alley tent had booths from many local artists displaying and selling their work. Activities included Lego building, face painting, an art activity led by NIC staff, mini hot-air balloons, and much more.

Catherine Johnson Morris began construction on a 6-foot sandcastle made of fracking sand.

Three local music groups — Joey Patterson, Ugly Summer and Paddlers — performed in a Battle of the Bands.

The festival has collaborated with Skull Tree Brewing, producing an exclusive beer called the “Koppasaurus.” Oil City Beer Co. and Gruner Brothers Brewing also made up the Beer Garden.

The festival continues Saturday at 10 a.m. with more live performances and the Art on Wheels car show. Muralists will continue their work, and the Casper Children’s Theatre will perform. A full schedule can be found on the festival’s website.

Casper Pride is also taking place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at David Street Station.

Citizens of Casper enjoy the commercial vendors at NIC Fest. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Joey Patterson performs at the NIC Fest’s Battle of the Bands. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Catherine Johnson Morris works on her sandcastle. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Ugly Summer performs at NIC Fest’s Battle of the Bands. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Emerson receives “Serpent Kid” face painting. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Casper citizens gather outside the Nicolaysen Art Museum to enjoy the live music. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Mini hot-air balloon floats near Paddlers’ performance. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Chris “Rugie” Ruegsegger stands next to his in-progress mural. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Sit Means Sit Dog Training inflates gigantic dog. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)
Paddlers perform at the NIC Fest’s Battle of the Bands. (Sara Sammons/Oil City News)