Downtown Fort Worth to host world-renowned artists, entertainment, food and culture at Texas’ largest arts festival
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (February 17, 2016) — The 31st MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival (MAIN ST.) kicks off April 14 in Downtown Fort Worth, bringing thousands of spectators to experience the sounds, sights and tastes of the #1 ranked arts festival in Texas. Encompassing more than 27 city blocks, MAIN ST. will spotlight 208 jury-selected local and national artists, showcase nearly 140 chart-topping musical groups, offer culinary dishes from across the state, and provide arts-and-crafts activities for the entire family.
In the 1980s, MAIN ST. began as part of an urban revitalization campaign to reawaken the city’s core by showcasing Downtown Fort Worth’s shops and restaurants. Today, MAIN ST. is a multi-faceted festival that transforms downtown into an outdoor gallery and concert stage for four full days, bringing in more than $28 million in economic impact annually. It has been listed as one of the “Top 100 Events in North America” by the American Bus Association (ABA), is a three-time winner of the “Grand Pinnacle” Award from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), was named one of the nation’s 10 best art festivals by USA Today in 2015, and snagged Fort Worth, Texas magazine’s “Best of 2015” Reader’s Pick Festival award.
“Every year, MAIN ST. attracts thousands of art enthusiasts, culinary connoisseurs and musical gurus to Fort Worth for a weekend dedicated to art, food, music, and culture,” said Larry Anfin, chairman of the Festivals and Events Committee for Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc., producer of MAIN ST. “It has been incredible to witness MAIN ST.’s transformation into one of the nation’s top outdoor arts festivals, and if the 2016 MAIN ST. is anything like the previous 30 years, it is certainly going to be an unforgettable event for all those involved.
EXPERIENCE MAIN ST.
The prize-winning art will take main stage at the 31st MAIN ST. Of the 1,500 applications received, only 208 artists were selected to exhibit their art. Many of the award-winning artists from the 2015 festival will be exhibiting again in 2016, including Best Of Show-winner Terry Evans (wood), Merit Award-winner David Conn (printmaking), and Juror Award-winner Andrew Carson (sculpture). Mediums include jewelry, digital, mixed-media, leather, fiber, painting, sculpture, drawing/pastels, metalwork, photography, ceramic, wood and glass. By the end of the festival, more than $4.6 million worth of art is expected to be sold. Details including artist statements, booth numbers, contact information, and more can be found online at MAIN ST.’s “Fine Art Showcase.”
The 2016 MAIN ST. musical lineup is teeming with local, regional and national talent, who will be taking the stage at four different locations in downtown, including the UT Arlington MAIN Stage, Sundance Square Stage, Star-Telegram Performing Arts Stage, and Frost ‘Locals-Only’ Stage. Starting at noon daily, nearly 140 headliners will bring a vast array of musical genres to the festival, ranging from jazz and country to Latin and blues. Headliners include funk-soul-jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker, Afro-Cuban jazz artist Poncho Sanchez, Texas soul singer Luke Wade, Austin-based rock group Band of Heathens, Celtic rockers The Killdares, multimedia troupe Squonk Opera, and many more. An entertainment schedule, performance dates and times, and musician biographies can be found online at MAIN ST.’s “Music on MAIN” page.
The food featured at this year’s MAIN ST. will give festivalgoers a chance to taste authentic Texas cuisine, including brisket sandwiches from Riscky’s BBQ, fajita nachos from Bobby’s Fajitas, Fletcher’s Corn Dogs, grilled chicken satay from Thai Tina’s, Baja Smoothies, gumbo from Crawfish Connection, Bahama Mamas from Schmidt’s German Village, and more. Times Ten Cellars’ “Wine Experience” tasting tent and the “Craft Brew Pavilion,” serving local, national and international craft beers, are also returning in 2016. Free “H20 To Go” water stations, sponsored by the Tarrant Regional Water District, will be positioned throughout the festival, and festivalgoers are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle to fill up and stay hydrated. A full list of participating restaurants and beverage vendors can be found online at MAIN ST.’s “Culinary Arts” page.
“MAIN ST. Creates!,” presented by Wells Fargo, is back for another year to encourage children to embrace their creative side. Anchoring the north end of the festival, the hands-on, arts-and-crafts outdoor art studio will open at 10 a.m. daily and feature balloon designing, fish printing, face painting, mural walls, jewelry designing, sand art, and more. Festivalgoers will find Tarrant County College’s “Young People’s Art Fair” located on the east side of “MAIN ST. Creates!,” where art from more than 200 ambitious young artists will be up for sale. A full list of activities, operating hours, and more can be found online at MAIN ST.’s “MAIN ST. Creates!” page.
Those interested in being a part of one of Fort Worth’s most beloved events can volunteer, become a MAIN ST. Collector, or join the Friends of the Festival program. Volunteers can assist with a variety of categories ranging from hospitality to merchandise sales, and receive perks including free t-shirts, food and beverages, merchandise discounts, and more. MAIN ST. Collectors enjoy exclusive art seminars, social events, valet parking, special dinners, VIP Skybox access, and more. The Friends of the Festival program provides businesses with networking opportunities, exposure through logo placements, dinners, Skybox access, commemorative merchandise, and more.
MAIN ST. is annually produced by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc., and is free to the public. The official hashtag for 2016 is #MainSt2016. Festival hours for 2016 are:
- Thursday, April 14, 2016: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Friday, April 15, 2016: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Saturday, April 16, 2016: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Sunday, April 17, 2016: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
For additional event information, visit MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival online at:
ABOUT MAIN ST. FORT WORTH ARTS FESTIVAL
The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival celebrates its 31st year in 2016 and is presented by Blue Moon Brewing Company®, which is distributed throughout the DFW Metroplex by Andrews Distributing Company. Official sponsors for 2016 are the Tarrant Regional Water District, Sundance Square, The University of Texas at Arlington, Tarrant County College and Wells Fargo. Media sponsors are the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). Radio sponsors are 92.1 HANK FM (KTFW-FM) and 95.9 The Ranch (KFWR-FM). Supporting sponsors are the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Frost Bank, and the Music Performance Trust Fund. Hotel sponsors are Omni Fort Worth Hotel, The Ashton Hotel, Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel, Courtyard Fort Worth Downtown / Blackstone, and Hilton Fort Worth. For more information, visit www.MainStreetArtsFest.org.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH INITIATIVES, INC.
Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 1988 to complement the work of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. and the Public Improvement District by providing a funding pathway for charitable, educational and public-purpose activities, such as community festivals, residential development and park management. Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. produces the annual MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival and the annual XTO Energy Parade of Lights. These events have an economic impact of more than $28 million annually and attract thousands of visitors to Downtown Fort Worth each year. For more information, visit www.DFWI.org.