Betty O’Neill-Roderick

A beautiful summer evening drew 1,200 people to the preview party for the Boston Mills Artfest on Friday evening.

Director George Whitten said 160 artists from 40 states participated in the 45th annual Artfest.

“You need to put a clock in this,” John Bozzelli told artist Keith Bradley of Plantation, Fla., as he and his wife, Jan, admired the artist’s animal sculptures.

Sue Bailey found the handmade hats by Paula Singleton of What a Great Hat inviting, while Kevin Pulline and Jen Yee liked the variety of lanterns presented by Sankora Studios.

Guests enjoyed a sumptuous buffet presented by Giant Eagle Market District, while Mike and Pam Mochan poured wines from around the world. Chelsea Burke offered Margarita cupcakes for dessert. Jim Arnold recommended the spinach and artichoke toast to his wife, Ann. Dale Fisher and Rudy Choudhury passed buffalo shrimp, enjoyed by David Lee Morgan and his wife, Jill, Mike and Carolyn Plevris, and Jim and Tamara Prentisa.

Jim and Rhonda Somnitz found a cozy table in the Petitti Garden to listen to the music of Cats on Holiday. Tracee Zerbic, Linda Boldt and Marika Kabos were delighted when the band invited them onstage to join them for a song. Also enjoying the music were, Terry Novak, John and Denise Campbell, Kevin and Lauren Gottschalk, Norman Vendeland and Geraldine Latter.

Margy Vogt wore a beautiful jacket she purchased at the Artfest last year as she enjoyed the evening with her husband, Joel, their son Steve, his wife, Amy, along with friends Bob and Jane Meyer, their son John and his wife, Kaylee.

Jerry Golski invited everyone to the Cleveland Orchestra summer concerts, which begin this week at Blossom Music Center as he gave out event schedules, while Carolyn Birchenall invited everyone to upcoming events in Peninsula.

Joanne Basile liked the abstract art assemblage presented by Joe Martino. His wife, Gail, said he has participated in the Artfest for seven years.

Kathy Michl and Terry Murphey were fans of artist John Krieger’s clay fish, while Dan Graham and Lee Smith tried out Victor Edwards’ oak and rope furniture, and Teri Barry and Keith Lindsey found a perfect picture of a cat.

Awards for Excellence were presented to Bill Sargent for photography, Greg Strachov for watercolor painting and Jenny Pope for drawing.

Whitten expected record crowds for the Artfest, which continues this upcoming Saturday and Sunday with an entirely new group of artists, and another preview party on Friday evening.