This Is the BIG One
The 35th annual Gainesville Downtown Festival & Art Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 5, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., November 6, with art, music, food and the opportunity to enjoy a fall day outdoors. More than 100,000 people are expected to join in the festivities and a juried fine arts festival, produced by the city of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.
Since 1996, the Downtown Festival & Art Show has ranked among the top festivals in the nation and has steadily climbed in rankings in recent years. More than 240 of the finest artists and craftspeople in the whole country will decorate the streets from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre. Visitors can meet the exhibiting artists, enjoy live music and dance performances on four stages and sample international cuisine.
A popular family favorite, the Imagination Station, is a free, hands-on art activity area that allows children to create their own chalk murals, design masks, sculpt clay, create puppets and enjoy performances including puppet shows, magic acts and music. Art Education students from the University of Florida work throughout the fall semester to produce this hub of family-friendly fun.
More than 55 nonprofit organizations will educate the crowd about the services they provide to the community. Food booths line the streets and give visitors the chance to indulge in blooming onions, sweet barbecue ribs, hearty Mediterranean pitas, Cajun jambalaya and authentic Thai cuisine. The festival features international dishes from more than 20 food vendors, so no guest leaves hungry.
There will be a free Downtown Blues Concert presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society at 7 p.m. Friday to get things going at the newly renovated Bo Diddley Plaza. Throughout the weekend, music from local bands and solo musicians features a blend of folk, jazz, country, pop and soul.
For more information, call 352-334-2787 or visit GainesvilleDowntownArtFest.org.