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Downtown Festival Expected to Draw Diverse Artwork Because of Nationwide Acclaim

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This weekend’s 32nd annual Downtown Festival and Art Show in Gainesville climbed into the number-10 spot on Sunshine Artist magazine’s “200 Best” list of fine arts festivals, moving up three spaces from last year.

This is the highest the festival has ever been ranked, said event coordinator Linda Piper.

“It’s a great honor,” Piper said. “It’s our first time ever that we are in the top-10 best fine arts shows in the country. And so we are able to attract the best artists from all around the country to participate in this nationally recognized art festival.”

The top 250 artists from all over the nation were selected from a pool of 600 to showcase their work. All different types of art will be featured, including painting, photography, sculpture, wood, ceramics, jewelry and glass.

“We have many new artists who will be joining us,” said Piper, who added that “this event draws more than 52 percent from outside of the county” and promotes tourism.

The festival, which typically draws 100,000 people, kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. with a free blue concert at Bo Diddley Community Plaza. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in between the Hippodrome Theatre and city hall.

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