The nationally recognized Downtown Festival & Art Show transforms downtown Gainesville into a venue for award-winning artists and draws a crowd of more than 100,000. Presented by the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the festival celebrates its 32nd anniversary in 2013. For two days, visitors can leisurely stroll through historic downtown and marvel at works from more than 250 of the nation’s most talented artists, who display their original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, captivating sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. With such a diverse array of unique art displayed for sale and competition, the Downtown Festival & Art Show is a great way to purchase one-of-a-kind art for you or a friend.
This year the festival will be held on Saturday, November 16, and Sunday, November 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since its creation, Downtown Festival & Art Show has risen dramatically in national rankings. For the past three years, Sunshine Artist magazine has recognized the festival as one of the top 30 fairs and festivals in the country, naming it No. 13 in 2012.
Performing Arts 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. Dance companies also catch the eyes of the crowd with ballet, jazz, modern and international dance performances.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, November 15, with a free Downtown Blues Concert on the Bo Diddley Community Plaza at 7pm presented by the North Florida Blues Society. Throughout the weekend, the Festival will showcase continuous live music and performances on three stages that will feature solo musicians, bands and dance companies. These musical treats are absolutely free and open to the public. .
Children's Art While adults explore art booths and listen to music, children can unleash their artistic talents at the "Imagination Station,"They can design masks, paint their own masterpieces, create buttons and puppets, sculpt clay and draw with sidewalk chalk. 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.
Culinary Arts Food booths mingle with artist booths at the festival, attracting customers with mouth-watering treats varying from creamy, homemade ice cream to crisp, golden Bloomin’Onion. Visitors can also taste authentic Pad-Thai cuisine, sweet barbecue ribs, hearty Mediterranean pitas and Cajun jambalaya.
With more than 20 food vendors, the Festival incorporates many multicultural dishes to satisfy anyone’s appetite!
Dogs on leashes are permitted.
Parking in the
parking garage, 2 blocks west of
is $5.00 daily and open 24 hours a day.
City of Gainesville
Division of Cultural Affairs
302 NE 6th Avenue
Mailing address: Station 30
PO Box 490
Gainesville, FL 32627
The 2012 poster artist, H.J. Herrera, is a landscape photographer who has enjoyed exhibiting his work at art festivals for 20 years. The 31st Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show poster image showcases Herrera's photograph of beautiful Lake Alice, a nature reserve at the heart of the University of Florida's bustling campus.
In the photo Herrera takes advantage of a stand of dramatically colored maples and the quiet tranquility of the early morning lake to feature the Baughman Meditation Center, which was recently voted one of Florida's most beautiful structures.