About the Festival
The largest and highest rated arts festival in the Southwest.
The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is an annual event that showcases a nationally recognized fine art and fine craft juried art fair, live concerts, performance artists and street performers on the streets of downtown Fort Worth, stretching nine blocks on Main Street from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The mission of MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is to produce a free, high-quality, annual arts festival that promotes the diversity, vibrancy and life of Downtown Fort Worth; to promote the qualities of Downtown to regional and national audience; and to contribute to the overall quality of life for Downtown Fort Worth residents.
Largest Festival in the Southwest
Thousands of people converge on downtown Fort Worth stretching nine blocks on Main Street from the courthouse to the convention center to interact with the arts alfresco during the season’s first, warm and sunny, 70 ° days each year. The streets of downtown are filled with fascinating sights and sounds as more than 500 fine artists, dancers, performance artists, musicians, exhibitors and food vendors take part in the four-day celebration.
World Class Art
The heart and soul of our festivial has always been the world class art. Of the over 1600 applicants, we chose just over 200, through a rigid jury process, to be good enough to be featured artists at MAIN ST. Over $4 million of art is sold during the festival with prices ranging from $50 for quality reproductions to several thousand dollars for signed limited editions or one-of-a-kind treasures.
3 Stages, 80+ Performers
Music is just as big as the art. Our Music on MAIN schedule features over 150 different local, regional and national musical acts from alternative rock and folk to cool jazz and hot Tejano rhythms on the Sundance Square Stage and the UT Arlington Stage.
Art Fair SourceBook, the authoritative reference publication on the American art-show circuit, recently ranked MAIN ST. as #9 among the many hundreds of events they review nationally. USA Today this year has awarded us a Top Ten Arts Festival ranking, and we are pleased to also be included as a Top 100 National Event by the American Bus Association. We have garnered three top Gold Grand Pinnacle Awards from the International Festivals and Events Association in the past five years, and most recently awarded a Bronze Grand Pinnacle Award this past year in the top budget category, losing only to the Kentucky Derby Festival and the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Whether it’s crawfish, turkey legs, bratwurst, funnel cakes or ice cream, festival goers crowd the food counters in an almost hypnotic-like state ordering more and more food–just because it’s fun! And to wash it all down, visitors can pick and choose from a huge inventory of soda, beer, margaritas and Texas wines. The Downtown street scene becomes one stop shopping that’s entertaining to do over and over again.
One of the most important key elements in the success of the festival has been the strong show of support from the community, volunteers and sponsors. MAIN ST.’s event management team of staff and seasoned volunteers work year round to ensure the smooth running of the festival. Large corporations, area businesses and local residents also give their time and effort during the festival providing 1,200 volunteers to help out during the four-day operation. Because MAIN ST. is a free gift to the community, it further relies on the generous contributions by official sponsors including presenting sponsor Andrews Distributing Company.
Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. (DFWI)
Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. (DFWII)
In the early 1980s, Fort Worth began the urban revitalization of its Downtown Central Business District. The goal for Downtown was to be a center city bustling with activity morning, noon and night, both during the work week and on weekends. To provide a private sector voice for this revitalization effort, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. (DFWI) was established by a handful of concerned property owners in December 1981.
Now in its 35th year of service, DFWI is an advocate for Downtown progress and excellence. This membership-based organization has contributed to Downtown Fort Worth’s vitality by serving as a liaison, ombudsman and information source for property owners, developers and prospective businesses.
Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. expanded its management role in 1986 by establishing Fort Worth Public Improvement District #1 (PID). Through a contract with the City of Fort Worth, the PID provides enhanced services to 260 blocks within Downtown Fort Worth. These services include maintenance and landscaping, promotions and marketing, security enhancement, transportation and planning.
In 1988, Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. (DFWII) was formed. This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization provides a pathway for foundation grants, philanthropic donations and other contributions to help fund charitable, educational and public-purpose Downtown projects. DFWII was a central partner in the development of the 172-unit Hillside apartment community. The organization manages Burnett Park and produces the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival and the XTO Energy Parade of Lights.
In 1995, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. championed the creation of the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. The TIF District is managed by Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. through a contract with the City of Fort Worth. Among its many projects, the TIF provides thousands of free parking spaces after 5 pm on weekdays and all day and evening on the weekends.
Through the programs of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., members take an active role in the management of, and advocacy for, the center city. Several standing committees and special task forces work to fulfill the organization’s mission of creating a vibrant, healthy and attractive center in which to work, live and play.
Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. presents a number of events annually, including the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival and the XTO Energy Parade of Lights. Together, these events serve to raise aesthetic values, provide sponsorship income opportunities, create opportunities for community involvement and raise the overall quality of promotional activities in downtown while working collaboratively with downtown businesses and residents.
Downie Productions, Inc.
Downie Productions, Inc. produces the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival, having produced the event from 1995 - 1999, and again from 2003 to present. We are pleased to be a part of such a great event. We also produce the XTO Energy Parade of Lights on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.