Our History

2023 marks the 36th active year MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival has brought arts and entertainment to the streets of downtown Fort Worth.

With a pause in 2020 and 2021 to accommodate the effects of the pandemic, MAIN ST. came back bigger and better than ever in 2022. The event traces its beginnings to the early 1980s when the City of Fort Worth set in motion a campaign of urban revitalization in the Central Business District. As momentum began to build, businessman Robert Bass spearheaded the initial effort in 1986 to create an event showcasing the attractions of the city’s reawakening downtown core.

Mr. Bass and other prominent civic leaders envisioned a multi-faceted festival that would transform downtown into an outdoor gallery and concert stage on an early spring weekend. That first MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival was a three-day event involving 140 artists, 60 performance groups and 600 volunteers. Attendance was approximately 80,000.

Over three decades later, downtown Fort Worth has grown to over 10,000 residents and a burgeoning entertainment scene that continues to recover from the pandemic. The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival through the years evolved into the biggest and best-attended event of its kind in the Southwest. Art Fair SourceBook, the authoritative reference publication on the American art-show circuit, recently ranked MAIN ST. as #3 among the many hundreds of events they review nationally.

Join us downtown this April, and enjoy the best America has to offer – MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival presented by PNC Bank. Experience the sights and sounds of history in the making.