The Tempe Festival of the Arts will kick off Friday with about 375 artists expected to display their work on Mill Avenue. The event will span Friday, March 28, to Sunday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“I’m excited to see all the different art on display,” said Brian Groh, a visual communications junior. “The local art scene is actually really good, and not a lot of people know about it, so it’s nice to see people get the recognition they deserve.”
The festival will feature 16 different art categories including photography, ceramics, wearable art and jewelry.
Kate Hastings, managing director of the festival, said profits from the event are well upwards of thousands of dollars, given the popularity of arts and crafts sold.
“We sell on average about $1.6 million worth of art at each festival,” she said.
Hastings said while the festival features many opportunities to shop and spend money, there is no additional admission fee.
“It makes it possible for people who would never otherwise see this kind of mix of entertainment and visual art that we have,” she said.
The festival will also have live entertainment as well as food booths. Street performers, including balloon twisting, face painting and henna tattoos, will be scattered around the event site as well.
Biological sciences freshman Bridget Jacob said though she is not a fan of art, she is excited to attend the event.
“I enjoy being around fun people and in a good atmosphere,” she said. “I’m excited for all the little side things. The bands, the different foods and the henna tattoo station are what I am looking forward to.”
Some of the bands that will be performing are Running From Bears, Back Porch Bandits and Porangui. There will be different performers each day at the festival stage, located on 7th Street, just west of Mill Avenue. The Circus School of Arizona will be performing at the festival all three days.
The Arizona Wine Festival and The Art of Beer will have booths set up for people who are 21 and older.
“Bring very comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk, because there’s a lot of territory to cover,” Hastings added. “It goes from 3rd Street to University and from Ash to Myrtle.”
This three-day festival ranks among the top 200 art festivals in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine and has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association. Simply put, do not miss this event this weekend.
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