Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Winter Park, FL – Come on down to this year’s annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. This is a high end art festival filled masterpieces, great entertainment, and food. This venue is being held on March 17-19, 2017, in the heart of Downtown Winter Park. Only the best-selected artists will have their work shown. This art festival is free to walk a around. Here is just a sampling of what is going on.
This art festival was named America’s Best Juried Fine Art Fair (Art Fair Calendar, 2013 & 2014), The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals. It is also ranked the #1 Best Fine Art and Design Show in the southeast and #5 in the Nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, 2014. The Festival debuted in March 1960 as a community project to bring local artists and art lovers together. The Festival is produced by an all-volunteer board and draws more than 350,000 visitors each year. This year, more than 1,100 artists from around the world applied for entry. An independent panel of three judges selected the 225 artists exhibiting their works. The Festival is also recognized as “Central Florida’s Best Festival,” Orlando Magazine, 2013 & 2014; and “Best Winter Park Event/Festival,” The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Winter Park / Maitland Observer, 2013 & 2014.
This event is only a short drive from Orlando. Parking is very limited around this art festival. Festival goes are able to find parking at many of the public lots and public parking garages. There is some street parking near this venue. Parking tends to fills up fast. It is recommended to arrive early when the festival opens. If you come in the middle of the day expect to drive around looking for a space to park. Avoid bring a vehicle if possible. Sunrail is running on Saturday only. Check http://www.sunrail.com for train schedule. There are other forms of transportation to take such as ride sharing services and or even riding your bicycle. Plus, there is a bicycle valet to park your bike at this venue too.
This is a must see event for this weekend. Come see some of the best artists and their works from around the country. There will be all different medium and styles of art from sculptures, paintings, photography, drawings, jewelry, and much more. This year festival artists complete for 63 awards totaling $72,500. The Best of Show winner is purchased for $10,000 by The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival Board and donated to the City of Winter Park. Previous Best of Show winners are on permanent display at the Winter Park Public Library. A $5,000 “Art of Philanthropy” Purchase Award is sponsored by the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. A $2,500 “Distinguished Work of Art” Award is presented through The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. There are 10 Awards of Excellence of $2,000 each, 20 Awards of Distinction of $1,000 each and 30 Awards of Merit of $500 each.
Don’t forget to check out the children’s artwork on display in several large tents near the Winer Park Post Office. Most of these art students show some great talent with their artistic ability. Their artwork is juried too. So come down and take some time to enjoy their artwork too. Early Sunday afternoon some of the teachers start taking the grade school children’s artwork down. It is best to see if on Friday and Saturday. Awards for the children’s art show will be posted on late Saturday afternoon.
There will be many different types of food to choose from. The Food Court is located in in the middle of this venue near the train station. Puffs and Stuff Catering, runs this year’s festival food concessions. There is a largest selection of food to choose from. Choose from BBQ, fish, burgers, chicken, salads, and much more. It is advised to bring cash, however some take credit cards. Plus, there are a few ATM machines throughout the festival.
Besides the food, there is always great free entertainment. Get there early for the best seats in the house. The main stage is located on the eastside of the park. There will be a variety of acts live on stage. Check the art festival website for schedule of music and entertainment. Bring a folding chair or blanket and relax with some great entertainment.
For more information on this art show go to www.wpsaf.org . If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. For more great events and places please check us out at www.otownfun.com .
Photos courtesy by icflorida.com
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Sources of information from wpsaf.org