Organizers: Main St. festival set records in first three days

04/14/2014 5:44 PM

04/14/2014 7:57 PM

Record numbers made the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival a success despite cancellation of the last day Sunday because of dangerously windy conditions, organizers said Monday.

Both sales and attendance set records the first three days, Main St. spokeswoman Claire Bloxom Armstrong said. Specific numbers were not released by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc., which presents the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival.

Jay Downie, events director of Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, said Monday they don’t keep attendance figures for the free event. Revenue information also was not available.

“We are very pleased with the results,” Downie said.

Sponsorship materials available online say the downtown festival has drawn more than 430,000 people in the past. A press release issued in February by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives says organizers expected more than $4.6 million worth of art to be sold this year.

An economic impact study of the festival presented in 2012 shows an overall economic impact of about $27 million.

Wind gusts were the art aficionado’s rival Sunday, as wind damage to booths and a worsening forecast prompted organizers prompted the cancellation.

Art lovers will have another opportunity to shop and buy at Southlake’s Art in the Square April 25-27. The event, in its 15th year, will include 156 artists from 26 states.

Admission to Art in the Square, organized by the Southlake Women’s Club, is free. Money raised benefits 26 nonprofit organizations, including the Community Enrichment center, Summer Santa and Friends of the Southlake Library. The event has raised about $2 million since it began in 2000.

The festival at Southlake Town Square typically draws about 50,000 people, said Sherri Whitt, who handles publicity for the the event.

“It is wonderful for the artists,” Whitt said. “They get a following. Many people come back on a regular basis to buy their artwork.”

This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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