The 36th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show is quickly approaching and the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is looking for individuals and organizations that would like to support this community event by volunteering at one of the top fine art shows in the country. This is your opportunity to mingle with nationally-acclaimed artists, enjoy performing arts and sample international cuisine. This award-winning art festival features 240 of the nation’s finest artists, as well as four stages of continuous entertainment. Four-hour shifts are available on Saturday, Nov. 11 or Sunday, Nov. 12 for volunteers of all ages. Volunteers can assist at the Junior Fire Fighting Challenge, booth sit for artists, greet guests as they arrive or help with the Children’s Imagination Station, a free, hands-on art activity area. As a token of our appreciation, volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Volunteers will also have the chance to see downtown Gainesville transform into a hub of artistic culture and creativity. More than 100,000 visitors stroll through the streets to purchase one-of-a-kind artwork and marvel at original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. Artisans compete for more than $22,000 in cash prizes and purchase awards.
While they shop, festival visitors can explore booths showcasing the services and missions of more than 45 local nonprofit organizations. Food booths line the streets and give visitors the chance to indulge in gyros, blooming onions, sweet barbecue ribs, Mediterranean pitas, jambalaya and authentic pad Thai cuisine.
For music lovers, the Downtown Festival & Art Show features four stages with continuous, live entertainment by local bands, solo musicians and dance companies. The festival weekend kicks off Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Bo Diddley Plaza with a free Downtown Blues Concert presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society.
The festival also includes musical performances, magic shows and puppet shows at the Children’s Imagination Station. The Imagination Station offers a large selection of free, hands-on art activities. Children can draw with sidewalk chalk, design masks and hats, make puppets and buttons and sculpt clay.
Celebrate a tradition of artistic excellence at the Downtown Festival & Art Show. If you would like to be a part of our amazing team of volunteers, please contact the City of Gainesville at 352-393-8536. Applications may also be downloaded at www.gainesvilledowntownartfest.org. We hope you can join us at this year’s festival.