Arts festival brings people downtown

04/14/2014 5:42 PM

04/14/2014 5:43 PM

The possibility of severe weather shuttered the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival’s final day, disappointing participants and attendees who have eagerly flocked to the city center for 29 years.

Even the abridged version of the popular festival was a success to the events director for Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Jay Downie, who said the real success is “in bringing people downtown.”

That it did.

Large crowds came to enjoy the music, food and festivities in the warm sunshine from Thursday through Saturday, when 213 artists from all over the country exhibited their creations.

The juried festival — artists must apply and be selected as exhibitors — is nationally renowned, attracting more than 1,500 applicants, many of whom sell their pricey pieces of unique artwork to area clientele.

A 2012 study found that the festival’s overall economic impact on the city is about $27 million.

But the real mission, said Downie, is not financial. The goal is to “drive the perception that downtown is a good place to be.”

And for at least three days this past weekend, it was.

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