BlueTrainLive musical performances by acts including Peter V and Blues Train (above), plus displays of art by Grace Modla (below) and others, are on the bill this Saturday and Sunday, during the Creative Arts and Music Festival at Thompson Park.

Grace ModlaIt doesn’t tend to get the sort of advance press accorded parking-lot-packing events like Red Bank’s Riverfest and recent Beer Wine and Food Fest — but if you’re on the lookout for a casual, comfortable mid-spring weekend’s event in a setting that offers plenty of breathing room, free parking, free admission and a chance to join in the arty fun, you’d do well to check out the Creative Arts and Music Festival, the 2016 edition of which sets up at Thompson Park for a two-day stay, beginning at 11 a.m. this Saturday, April 30.

A presentation of the folks at the Monmouth County Park System, the rain-or-shine event spotlights the sights and sounds of some of the county’s most creatively oriented citizens, including an indoor stroll-through expo of some 20 visual artists and crafters. Also included: a slate of 14 musical acts on two stages (and in a variety of styles), with a schedule inside the park’s Theater Barn programmed by the nonprofit organization Musicians on a Mission.

Creative Arts FestOn display from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday will be a selection of paintings, photography prints, pottery, custom jewelry designs and more. The artists will vie for awards in a juried competition, and guests will be able to take part in a “plein air” painting contest. The plein air competition is held both days of the festival, and is open to middle and high school students on Saturday, and adults on Sunday, May 1. Artists must bring their own supplies, and can create any landscape scene from Thompson Park in any medium during the festival. Judged by New Jersey Plein Air Painter Anthony Migliaccio, each day of the competition will have a winner who receives a $50 gift certificate to Red Bank’s art supply store Colorest (there is no charge for entering the competition).

Participating artists for 2016 are B&C Ceramics, Lisa C. Budd, Bumble Bead Jewelry, Leslie Eaton Jewelry Design, MaryAnn Goodwin, Green Boots Studio, Terry Grewen, Ichiban Bonsai, Mary Leather & Katie Stone, Grace Modla, Mustard Seed Treasures, John Nandor, Joyce Nokes, Bruce Perlmutter, Petal & Stone, Robert Raia, Carolyn Roche Design & Kate Grady, Michael Scherfen, Sun River Arts, and Trazart Pottery.

Music schedule is as follows:

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 (Theater Barn) — Shore Blue Band (11 a.m.), SØF (12:15 p.m.), Peter V and Blues Train (1:30 p.m.), Cat London & Rich Aveo (2:45 p.m.), Gil Velazquez Band (4 p.m.)

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 (Activity Barn Music Tent) — Ravine Crossing Chorale (11 a.m.), The Danjos (12 p.m.), Downstream (2:30 p.m.), Waiting On Mongo (4 p.m.)

SUNDAY, MAY 1 (Theater Barn) — The students of Rockit Live! (1 – 2:30 p.m.), Annie Breen Ensemble (3 – 5 p.m.)

SUNDAY, MAY 1 (Activity Barn Music Tent) — Peter Myers (11 a.m.), Joe Frame (1 p.m.), This Old House Band (2:30 p.m.)

Blues aficionados will also get a chance to catch Peter V and Blues Train tonight, April 29, when the Atlantic Highlands-based band visits the Red Bank Woman’s Club as this month’s featured guests in the Reckless Steamy Nights series of house parties sponsored by the Jersey Shore jazz and Blues Foundation. Take it here for details.