Rick Springfield points upward and outward to the enthusiastic crowd during his performance at the 2022 Lancaster Festival. Rick Springfield is on stage and is wearing a suit and holding a guitar. His band is set up in the background.
“Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield performs at the 2022 Lancaster Festival. [Payton Szymczak | WOUB]

Rick Springfield performs at the Wendel concert stage kicking off Lancaster’s 38th annual festival

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LANCASTER, Ohio (WOUB) –  The Lancaster Festival is back at it again and kicked off a week full of events with its annual Art Walk and a special appearance from ’80s rocker Rick Springfield.

Not much was new at the festival this year, and visitors seemed just fine with that.

“I don’t recognize anything different, and honestly I don’t think there needs to be anything different. Just the fact that we’re all here connecting with one another is great,” said Casey Chrysler, a longtime resident and recurring visitor of the festival.

This week’s festival marked the 38th year people gathered on Broad, Main and Columbus Streets to celebrate the first event, the Art Walk, and overall camaraderie in the community.

“It’s a chance for the community to come together,” Chrysler said. “To get together and express art, music and all these things that are kind of neglected throughout the year.”

Every artist featured at last Friday’s Art Walk had their own style and background. Stephanie Mulholland runs a therapeutic art program for young girls, and saw an opportunity last year for the group to showcase their work.

A blue flag that reads "Art Walk" hangs on a small shepherd's hook in the streets of Lancaster during the 2022 Lancaster Festival Art Walk.
The 2022 Lancaster Festival celebrated its 38th Art Walk this year. [Payton Szymczak | WOUB]
“So I was like, sweet, let’s do this,” Mulholland said. “Let’s get our name out there. Let’s show off the art because the number one coping mechanism skills that these girls use is art.”

The event was so successful they decided to come back this year.

The festival is widely promoted through social media and brochures, which draws in a lot of first-time visitors. Jason Price, who was one of them, said he was most excited about enjoying the day and interacting with others.

“To me, it’s the art of eating, the art of designing and expressing yourself,” Price said. “My favorite part is the chalk work. You can buy a block for six bucks or 11 bucks for a big square and design anything you want on it. It raises money for downtown to keep it upgraded.”

Price was also excited about the Rick Springfield concert the following day at Ohio University’s Lancaster Campus. “It’s gonna be rockin’,” he said. “It’s all about ‘Jessie’s Girl.’”

A large crowd of people gathered to see Rick Springfield perform at the 2022 Lancaster Festival. Rows of standing people are turned toward the stage.
A large crowd eagerly awaits Rick Springfield’s performance at the 2022 Lancaster Festival. [Payton Szymczak | WOUB]
Springfield’s first time performing at the festival drew thousands of people to the Wendel concert stage. One of them was Rachel Weaver, who was excited to celebrate old times.

“I’ve been coming here since I was little,” Weaver said. “I have so many fun memories of going up in front of whoever’s performing and dancing with all my friends. It used to be so much fun, so I always wanted to come back and recreate those memories.”

Fans swarmed the stage, anxiously waiting to hear Springfield perform his 1981 megahit “Jessie’s Girl,” but dedicated fans like Grace Robono had some other songs on her waiting list.

“Well I have a lot of them,” Robono said. “Probably ‘My Father’s Chair’ is one of my favorites. I mean, there’s ‘Jessie’s Girl’ and ‘Affair of the Heart.’”

Rick Springfield holds a microphone while performing at the Lancaster Festival. The stage has a purple and blue color scheme and Rick Springfield is wearing a suit.
Rick Springfield performs at the 2022 Lancaster Festival. [Payton Szymczak | WOUB]
Robono and her friends also had some special plans post-concert.

“I’m going to meet him afterwards,” Robono said while holding a bouquet of flowers. “And I’m going to say, Rick, will you accept this rose?”

The festival ends Saturday with a performance by country music singer-songwriter Billy Currington, a grand finale to a week’s worth of entertainment.

For more information about the festival, visit