Santa Fe College and the Santa Fe College Foundation announced the cancellation of the 2021 Spring Arts Festival Wednesday morning, calling off an annual event that often draws over 100,000 guests to downtown Gainesville.
College officials decided to cancel the Spring Arts Festival, scheduled for April 10 through April 11, 2021, after considering the “health and safety of both the artists and attendees,” according to Jay Anderson, Santa Fe communications manager. The Wednesday morning announcement comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and efforts by Santa Fe College and the University of Florida to prevent local outbreaks from spreading.
Santa Fe officials also canceled the March 2020 Spring Arts Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the years since the festival’s inception in 1969, the annual gathering of artists and art enthusiasts grew into one of the largest fine-arts festivals in the region. When officials decided to cancel the 2020 Spring Arts Festival back in March, there were less than 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alachua County. As of Sept. 16., the state Department of Health lists 6,814 Alachua County COVID-19 cases.
The festival typically takes anywhere from six to eight months to coordinate, and Santa Fe College plans to announce potential future dates and plans as they develop.