Gainesville Downtown Festival & Art Show
The annual Downtown Festival & Art Show helps make Gainesville a great place to live, work, and play, by transforming the streets of historic downtown Gainesville into a weekend-long celebration of art and creativity complete with 200+ artists, live music, performing arts, and delicious culinary art experiences. Presented by the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the festival celebrates its 42nd anniversary in 2023.
The Downtown Festival & Art Show was established for and by Gainesville-based artists in 1981 and expanded over the decades to cover several city blocks at the heart of historic downtown.
City events coordinator, Linda Piper is credited with the expansion of the festival in the 1990s-2000s. Since 1996, the Downtown Festival & Art Show has ranked among the top festivals in the nation. Piper retired in 2015, the 34th year of the Festival. Sunshine Andrei, who was assistant to Piper, was promoted to director of both the Downtown Festival & Art Show and Gainesville's Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and served in these roles from 2016-2021 until her promotion to Assistant Manager of the City's Cultural Affairs Division. Local musician and community organizer, Chelsea Carnes, was hired on as festival director in 2022, the festival's 41st year. Bill Hutchinson was the festival's performance director from its start until his retirement in 2021, the 40th year of the festival, and was replaced by Jacob Adams who accepted the role in 2022.
The Downtown Festival & Art Show festival has consistently been ranked among the 200 Best shows by Sunshine Artist, a publication that evaluates art and craft festivals across the nation! Join us Saturday, November 18th, and Sunday, November 19th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to meet the exhibiting artists, enjoy live music, and sample international cuisine.