GNV festival, art show returns for 41st year

Gainesville's annual Downtown Festival and Art Show returns this weekend.
Gainesville's annual Downtown Festival and Art Show returns this weekend. (Courtesy City of Gainesville)

Cue the music, art and food. Gainesville’s 41st annual Downtown Festival and Art Show returns this weekend throughout 10 blocks surrounding Bo Diddley Plaza.  

With more than 200 artistic experiences, the festival remains the largest free celebration of art in North Florida. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Find parking instructions and maps online.  

The event will feature artists to awe the eye with ceramics, photography and dancing; to please the ear with singers, stringed bands and show choruses; and to please the mouth with more than 30 food vendors.  

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Gainesville's annual Downtown Festival and Art Show will feature more than 200 artistic experiences on Saturday.
Courtesy City of Gainesville Gainesville’s annual Downtown Festival and Art Show will feature more than 200 artistic experiences on Saturday and Sunday.

“As you’re strolling through the festival, you’ll encounter songwriters, soloists, musicians and a variety of musical genres,” Chelsea Carnes, Gainesville event coordinator, said in a press release. 

Two busking stops, street performances will also add to this year’s event. The performers will swap out every hour. 

The festival will have educational booths like one, hosted by the League of Women Voters, that demonstrates the uses of electric vehicles.  

Weather interfered with last year’s festival, forcing a cancelation on Saturday. But the weekend forecast promises a dry and cool event—knock on wood. Temperatures will reach highs of 64 degrees Saturday and a brisk 57 degrees Sunday.  

The event location has detoured west.  

“By shifting west and closing two blocks of Main Street, we include that beautiful tree-lined Main Street area and then First Avenue, which just activates all these locally-owned businesses and will hopefully bring some tourists and visitors and capital to those locally-owned restaurants and cafes on that avenue as well,” Carnes said.  

Drivers can still use University Avenue to head east and west, but streets just south of the avenue will be closed.  

For a full list of artists and vendors, check out the festival website.  

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