June 6, 2023

Fernando Santiago of Silver Spring Selected as Winner of 2023 Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival Poster

Fernando Santiago of Silver Spring Selected as Winner of 2023 Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival Poster

The poster for the seventh annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival will be based on a design submitted by Fernando Santiago, a Silver Spring artist and resident. As the winner of poster contest, he will receive a cash prize of $500 donated by IHOP Wheaton.

The poster contest was open to all residents of Montgomery County. After Mr. Santiago’s artwork was selected, Wheaton Arts Parade designer Josue Martinez of Corinto Gallery incorporated it into the design for the poster and T-shirt. It will be featured in all promotional materials leading up to the parade.

The annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25, in the Wheaton Triangle and on the Marian Fryer Plaza right above the Wheaton Metro Station. The Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival is a day for residents, artists, businesses and civic organizations to celebrate art and Wheaton’s diverse community. At the end of the art parade, the community gathers at a festival of performances, art exhibits and food.

"My family loves parades. We are known to travel long distances to see them,” said Mr. Santiago. “In 2019, we were at the Wheaton Arts Parade and it was amazing. The floats, the artists and the overwhelming love of art struck a chord in me. It was after the 2019 arts parade that I decided to get back into art. I had not made art since graduating from my art high school in Puerto Rico in 1996, but watching all those artists marching in the arts parade inspired me to ask ‘If not now, when?’ This is the phrase I chose to portray in my submission to the poster competition. In it, I show regular people taking a chance to bring beauty to the world they inhabit.”

As part of the prize, IHOP will donate an additional $100 for art supplies to Glenallan Elementary School in Mr. Santiago’s honor. He selected Glenallan to receive the supplies because his daughter attended school there when they first moved to Montgomery County.

“As a life-long resident of Wheaton and local business owner, I appreciate what Wheaton Arts Parade has done to celebrate our community and activate the arts district," said IHOP owner and prize sponsor William Moore. "I am honored to sponsor the annual poster contest and to reward the creative efforts of local artists like Fernando.”

More than 50 festival tents are available in the 2023 festival for artists to rent to exhibit and sell their original artwork and for arts organizations and community organizations to promote their work. The day is inspired by the parade and the closure of roads so that people can pull giant floats and show off their art, play music and dance,

Schools and community organizations are encouraged to make floats for the arts parade and artists of all kinds are invited to push, pull, carry, wear or perform their art in the parade. There are no motor vehicles. It is free. Registration is open now for parade participants, art vendors, performers, exhibitors and food vendors. There are even funds available for individuals and groups to make their floats and parade art.

To register or learn more about the parade and festival, go to www.wheatonartsparade.org. More information also is available by emailing info@wheatonartsparade.org.