Let’s face it. Last year, it was a little disconcerting. The Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival was lovely as usual, but it wasn’t exactly on Main Street. At least not all of it.
The popular downtown festival had been slightly displaced, thanks to the massive construction project going on in Sundance Square.
This year, construction is a memory, and the beloved arts festival is back on Main proper, rippling with a whole new level of excitement. The festival will take full advantage of the new, pedestrian-friendly Sundance Square Plaza, which has injected downtown with a fresh, buzzing energy.
This year’s Main St. will encompass 27 blocks, with 213 juried artists, three music stages and 62 tenderloin tamales from Reata. (Oh, sorry: That last one was just for us.)
A few artwork highlights we’re looking forward to this year: mixed-media mosaics from Texan Hannah Dreiss, who creates her work with round punched pieces from soda and beer cans (they move and twinkle with the slightest breeze); John Booth of Minneapolis, whose pop art paintings burst with color; and, of course, mainstay Andrew Carson, whose kinetic metal and glass “people-sized” sculptures are always a welcoming beacon into the festival. Some of you might also recognize the work of a certain local photographer in the “emerging artist” category. Brian Luenser, with his bird’s-eye view of the city from his condo in The Tower in Fort Worth, has become an unofficial chronicler of life in downtown.
Musical highlights include Robert Cray on Friday, and the Mavericks and Raul Malo and Bob Schneider on Saturday, as well as performances from the Chinese Acrobats, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Opera and Vadym Kholodenko, the 2013 Cliburn Competition gold medal winner. Performers will be spread across three stages: the UT Arlington Main Stage at the Convention Center, the Star-Telegram Performing Arts Stage (on Main between Fifth and Sixth streets) and the new Sundance Square Stage (between Third and Fourth).
And, of course, you’ll get your fill of fair food with delicacies from Reata, Schmidt’s German Village (mmm … Bahama Mama), Riscky’s, Bobby’s Fajitas, Fletcher’s Corny Dogs and more.
If you want to plan your itinerary, there are a few options. Main St. has a new version of the free app it introduced last year, to help navigate the festival, or you can check out the layout on a map online at mainstreetartsfest.org.