The festival is recognized not only for its art but also for its entertainment. Music from local bands and solo musicians features a blend of folk, jazz, country, pop and soul genres on four stages of continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. Dance companies also catch the eyes of the crowd with ballet, jazz, modern and international dance performances.
The Festival weekend kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. in downtown Gainesville at the Bo Diddley Plaza with a free Downtown Blues Concert presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society.
While adults explore art booths and listen to music, children can unleash their artistic talents and get creative at the “Imagination Station,” a free, hands-on art activity area. They can design masks, paint their own masterpieces, create puppets, sculpt clay and draw with sidewalk chalk. These are just a few of the activities in which children will be able to artistically express themselves. If they’re looking for entertainment, children can sit back and enjoy puppet shows, magic acts and music performances that are sure to bring smiles to their faces. Art Education students from the University of Florida work diligently throughout the fall semester to produce this creative and inspirational experience for children of all ages.
Food booths mingle with artist booths at the festival, attracting customers with mouth-watering treats varying from creamy, homemade ice cream to crisp, golden blooming onion. Visitors can also taste authentic Pad-Thai cuisine, sweet barbecue ribs, hearty Mediterranean pitas and Cajun jambalaya. With nearly 20 food vendors, the Festival incorporates many multicultural dishes to satisfy anyone’s appetite!
Young artists (ages seven to eighteen) are joining a tradition of artistic excellence to showcase their talent as the 37th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show honors young and aspiring artists in the Young Artist Courtyard.
Dogs on leashes are permitted.
Parking in the City parking garage is located, 2 blocks west of Main Street. Cost is $1.00 per hour with $6.00 maximum 6am – 6pm and $5 flat fee 6pm – 6am. It is open 24 hours a day. For more parking information: http://gvilleparking.com/