Thousands of people took advantage of the beautiful fall like weather to saunter along the streets of downtown Mansfield for the first ever Music Alley Festival. On Saturday attendees had a chance to experience a wide variety of art which was the goal of Rosie Gilbert, Cultural Arts Coordinator for the Mansfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The festival was a joint effort between the City and the Mansfield Arts Commission, a new city board,” Gilbert said. "The art commission exists to promote, support, enhance and expand arts and cultural opportunities in Mansfield.”
She said the long-term goal is to build Mansfield into a regionally recognized destination for cultural activities.
"Thanks to everyone who came out to the Music Alley Festival and to all of our sponsors, volunteers, performers, and staff - we couldn't have asked for a better event,” Gilbert added. “We had an amazing day of music and art and were already looking forward to next year."
Artists from around the area had a chance to participate in a live art exhibition, where each created a painting or mixed media piece during the festival. Guests watched the masterpiece unfold in real-time and bid to purchase the finished product.
The Artist Alley featured special guest Jimmy Don Holmes, a metal artist frequently featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, who was on hand to meet fans and showcase his work.
Throughout the day historic downtown Mansfield had musical performers on four stages ending the headlining band The Drifters.
“We are beyond thrilled with our first Music Alley festival in Historic Downtown,” said Ann Beck, Marketing and Communications Manager City of Mansfield Parks and Recreation. “We had an incredible turnout for our first year, around 5000 over the course of the day, and so far we've heard nothing but positive feedback.
She said as Mansfield's first music and arts festival of this magnitude they were admittedly a little nervous going into it.
“But our residents showed up and showed us that they are just as excited about the cultural arts as we are,” Beck added. “All four stages were rocking all day long, there were huge crowds to make paintings or try out the drum circle, and the dance floor kept Main Street bouncing well after dark.”
Beck said the Drifters with Rick Sheppard were the absolute “icing on the cake,” filling The Lot with fans of all ages.
“This was a huge undertaking, but thanks to our tireless staff and a ton of great volunteers, it was better than we could have hoped for,” she said. “Our only problem now is going to be trying to top this next year.”