Gainesville’s 35th Downtown Festival and Art Show


The Adventures of Mom took to swamp to check out Gainesville, Florida’s Annual Art Show.

We hit the swamp to explore Gainesville's 35th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show
We hit the swamp to explore Gainesville’s 35th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show

The only gators we saw in this swamp were clad in orange and blue or captured by artists and framed at Sunday’s (November 15th) finale of the Gainesville 35th Annual Downtown Festival and Art show. We joined the crowds on the red brick streets of  historic downtown Gainesville on the beautiful  Florida autumn day to celebrate the arts.

Over 240 artisans filled Gainesville's historic downtown for the annual Arts Festival.
Over 240 artisans filled Gainesville’s historic downtown for the annual Arts Festival.

Downtown Gainesville is all about brick- brick buildings, brick roads, brick alleyways- gorgeous red brick, and on this occasion, 240 artisans from across Florida set up their white tents and stalls on the brick roads and in the shadows of the historic buildings to show off their talents. Wood carving, glass blowing, acrylic, oils, photography and more. It was tasteful and talented. One artist told us about his glass blowing technique using silver.  He pulled the silver through glass blown orbs- they look like glowing aliens trapped in glass! Another told us about her use of heavy bodied acrylics to build dimensional flowers and butterflies on her canvases- they were amazing and my favorite of the show. Another local artisan created pine weaved layers of basket on top of cut and polished gourds to make colorful and unique containers. Every street contained new and exciting art just waiting to be explored. Dark Alice-in-Wonderland creatures on towers, copper birds running across a beach painted on canvas, water and glass. There was so much to look at and so little time.

Performance Art on the streets: The Manatee Girl, Downtown Arts Festival, Gainesville, Florida
Performance Art on the streets: The Manatee Girl

The local businesses, from the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity to Chinese’s Alternative Medicine and Healthy Eating, and of course, the University of Florida (we were in the heart Gator country after all), were on hand with giveaways and information about their services. Live music spilled off stages set up around the downtown event area. And the locals seemed to be out in full force with their dogs. Seriously, I have not seen so many dogs on leashes in one place. It was THE place to be in Gainesville.

BBQ at Gainesville Arts Festival
The smell of barbeque filled the air. And boy did it look good!

And then there was the food- lets not get started on that one! Kettle corn, Gyros, hot pretzels, Italian ice and yummy barbeque.

I had to try the yummy Greek gyros at the Gainesville Art Festival.
I had to try the yummy Greek gyros at the Gainesville Art Festival.

The Gainesville Downtown  Festival and Art Show is a two day yearly event celebrating the arts, with an estimated 100,000 visitors.  For more information about next year’s event, to visit, volunteer,  participate or become a sponsor, check out their official site here.

Shaved Italian Ice at Gainesville Art Show
The kids had to try the Italian Shaved Ice. This one is watermelon.


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