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Nationally ranked Downtown Festival & Art Show to kickoff tonight


Video story by Bailey Myers – WUFT-TV

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The 31st annual Downtown Festival & Art Show will begin at 8 p.m. today at the Bo Diddley Plaza with a free concert featuring University of Florida musicians.

The event, which also takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include artwork from 250 artists, live entertainment and activities for children.

This year, the festival is ranked the No. 13 best fine arts show in the nation by Sunshine Artist magazine.

“Our art festival has a reputation as being able to draw enough people to the festival who have an appreciation for art and want to purchase artwork,” said Linda Piper, the festival’s coordinator.

About 600 artists applied this year for the event’s 250 booths, which stretch from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre, she said.

“What we do very differently than most all art shows is that the images that they (the artists) submitted are scored,” she said. “And if you are an Alachua County resident, you get two extra points. And if you’re a Florida resident, you get one extra point. So we do give preference to the local artists, and that is something that we’re very proud of doing.”

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