Bloomin' Arts Festival Draws About 20,000 to Bartow
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.
The streets of Bartow will be filled with flowers, artwork and classic cars this Saturday and Sunday for the annual Bloomin' Art Festival.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 42nd annual Bartow Bloomin' Arts Festival.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
LOCATION: Downtown Bartow.
TICKETS: Admission and parking are free.
CONTACT: 533-3324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the Bartow Art Guild's 42nd year of celebrating the spring season. This year, the downtown streets will be filled with booths featuring works from 95 artists from around the area and a showing of 125 antique cars.
New this year to the festival is the student sculpture exhibit on the second floor of the Polk County History Center. Students who submit their pieces can win cash prizes for the efforts. The Student Awards Ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the steps of the Polk County History Center.
A panel of judges will award artists with a total of $15,000 in various categories, including a $2,250 prize for best in show. The adults award ceremony takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday on the steps of the Polk County History Center.
Also on the history center's second floor is the annual quilt show. The quilts on display this year vary in age from one year to 100 years old.
Guests will also want to stop by the flower show from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Community Southern Bank at Main Street and Broadway. The theme for the thousands of flowers adorning Bartow this year will be "Silver Linings."
For children, the Mosaic Company will once again be sponsoring face paintings, temporary tattoos and tote bag painting this year. The Children's Tent will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the 100 block of East Davidson.
Entertainment will also be provided on Saturday. Performers include Lee Turner, Tom Mizell and Arial Godwin.
Another event making a return this year is the bike ride. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the race starting an hour later. Participants will receive a goodie bag filled with biking necessities and a free lunch. The marathon run however will not be back this year.
The free art festival is expected to draw a large crowd to Bartow.
"We would love to see about 20,000 people down here," event co-chairwoman Michell Githens said.
The large amount of people flooding the downtown streets is predicted to be a huge boost to the local economy.
For businesses in downtown Bartow, the Bloomin' Arts Festival "is the busiest weekend of the year," Githens said. All downtown area small businesses and restaurants will be open during the entire festival even though most normally close on Sundays.
The festival kicks off at 4 on Friday afternoon with a special unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony for a new permanent sculpture on the northeast corner of Fort Blount Park.
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