INsite Magazine

Monday, November 16, 2009

Downtown Festival and Art Show a success

About 100,000 people attended this weekend’s Downtown Festival and Art Show in Gainesville. People, pets and children wandered through the packed roads, from city hall to the Hippodrome Theater, perusing the many white tents filled with various types of artwork.

Though each of the booths had beautiful pieces on display, the more eccentric artwork was the most fun to look through. The “silverwearable” jewelry, made entirely from the handles of old cutlery was cute, and the ceramic birdbaths looked too pretty to put in a yard.

Parents and kids took breaks from the heat and watched the music and dance performances in the shade by the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. The Gainesville Suzuki Players and dancers from the Gainesville Ballet Theater had great performances, and the Celtic harp and bamboo flute players were a big hit as well.

Ana Varela, a ceramic artist at the festival, says she saw a lot of interesting people of all ages in the crowd. This was her 20th year participating in the festival. “It’s a very predictable festival. The crowds always come out, and I see lot of friends because I’m local,” Ana says.

UF freshman Lynzee Marmor was a volunteer at the Imagination Station, where kids got to practice their creativity, and said she really enjoyed the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the event. “It’s fun to browse and they don’t make you feel obligated to buy, so it’s not uncomfortable,” she says.

—Elizabeth Behrman

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