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Doylestown Arts Festival returns with paintings, crafts, music, food and more

The 28th annual Doylestown Arts Festival will be held on Doylestown’s historic downtown streets converted to pedestrian-only avenues during the event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8.

The family-friendly event features 160 juried artists, live music on five stages, local food vendors and interactive art-making demonstrations.

Each September tens of thousands flock to Doylestown to celebrate the arts and artists, craftspeople, musicians and food vendors.

A media kickoff reception for the free street festival, which will be held rain or shine, took place in the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion at the James A. Michener Art Museum Tuesday, Aug. 27. Event organizers, artists and musicians gathered to celebrate the cultural diversity in Doylestown, with many making it a point to mention “U.S.A. Today’s” survey naming Doylestown the winner for having the nation’s “Best Small Town Cultural Scene.”

“It’s not hard to understand why Doylestown made the top of this exclusive list,” said arts festival director Paul Boger.

“We are immensely proud of how the Doylestown Arts Festival has expanded so dramatically in recent years and has introduced so many new visitors to ours small, very special town,” said Boger. “We are equally excited to celebrate Doylestown‘s permanent arts and culture attractions, including two significant museums, many art galleries, several historical societies, and dozens of retail enterprises, restaurants and inns showcasing work by local artists.”

The Doylestown Arts Festival has been and remains one of the most celebrated and respected festivals on the East Coast. This year, 20,000 to 30,000 visitors are anticipated.

In its 28th year, this year’s artists will display everything from fine art and photography to jewelry, recycled art, textiles, wood, metal and more. The weekend will feature several demonstrations, including pottery, woodcraft and more.

Live music begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and continues through the weekend.

“When visitors come to Doylestown, we all benefit – museums, shops, inns, restaurants, B and Bs, galleries and theaters, you name it. We all grow as a result,” said Kathleen V. Jameson, executive director of the Michener Art Museum.

Additional speakers during the mid-day event included: Ron Strouse, mayor of Doylestown; Kris Boger, president of Discover Doylestown; and Tim Farrell, of Wrightstown, who started as a performer more than five years ago and is now the music director for the event.

Doylestown Borough Mayor Ron Strouse said the 101-year-old Mercer Museum, James A. Michener Museum, County Theater and other vibrant artistic places in town helped to create events like the arts festival.

“We look to the past and we reinvent those events to make them more enjoyable and make sure they resonate with new visitors as well as the old visitors that come to these events,” he said.

The food court will be located on Hamilton Street between State Street and Oakland Avenue. Selections will include a variety of traditional festival fare, vegetarian and vegan options, dishes from local restaurants and more.

On Sunday, there is the Thompson Bucks County Classic, which will bring six high-speed bicycle races to the streets surrounding the festival.

The Arts Festival weekend has been preceded by Art Week, a new initiative that celebrates the town’s distinctive identity as a year-round destination for arts and culture.

While Boger said he is expecting a large crowd for the festival, he emphasizes that the organizers plan very carefully to ensure there is plenty of parking, access, space and amenities so that attendees feel welcomed and comfortable.

“Our mission is to communicate to festival visitors the ever-present hospitality and warmth of Doylestown, while at the same time celebrating the region’s artists and artistic heritage. We encourage everyone from near and far who has any interest in the arts, music, community, or sightseeing to attend (the festival),” he said.

For details, visit the event website: