The Annual St Armands Art Festival just off the Sarasota, Florida mainland is a great outdoors, open air gathering of artists and festival goers.
This event has always been one of my favorites to attend because of the cornucopia of creativity on display, and for purchase, and also for being outside together with people in a shared sense of friendliness.
It's one of the most looked forward to Sarasota Art Festivals of the year because of the number of artists attending, the various kinds of art work and the great location, St Armands Circle.
Somehow it all comes together, wonderfully, as the combination of sunny skies, warm temperatures and happy faces all make for a great time around St. Armands Circle.
The two day St Armands Art Festival brings together more than 150 artists, each with their own tent, awning or booth space around St Armands Circle Park's walkways. In fact, there are usually so many artists participating that there's not an open space left.
This Art Festival is one of the most popular on the sun coast, attracting thousands of art aficionados for the event to beautiful St Armands Key.
One of the nicer aspects of the St Armands Art Festival is its location; St Armands Circle itself; because there are numerous nearby places to stroll into for a bite to eat, whether it's lunch, dinner, a snack or other treat.
Needless to say, there are just some great aromas wafting through the park from the numerous bistros, restaurants, cafes and snack shops to be found just a few steps away from all the hustle and bustle centered around the Art Festival in St Armands Circle Park. Just an added bonus, if you ask me. I love the aromas of fine food in the air. It's such a great setting, St Armands Circle, for this popular annual art festival.
With more than 150 artists participating in this festival you can expect to find most any kind of art work represented and the creativity of these artists can even astound the most well versed art aficionado.
Among the art specialties represented you'll find not only works of art in traditional mediums such as sculpture and painting, glass and ceramics, but you'll also find works of art in jewelry, mixed media, photography and much more.
There's a wide array available from which to choose that special piece for a place in your home.
One of the benefits of attending the St Armands Art Festival is that you are able to meet with, up close and personally, many of the artists who have created the work that you may adore, or purchase. You may talk to them directly or even commission your own personal work of art from the artists themselves.
Though the crowd is usually large, my experience in attending the Annual St Armands Art Festival, on numerous occasions, has shown everyone to be happy, friendly and just out to enjoy a nice time.
And that's pretty much what I would expect you'll find on your first or tenth visit to this art fest.
All in all, it's a fun event to attend. And I think you'll enjoy it for the creative art works you'll see along with the usually great weather and the overall atmosphere of St Armands Circle.
Free admission and free parking where ever you can find it.
Parking tips: There are two large free public parking lots off the circle, at Madison Drive and N. Adams Drive (Gold Quadrant) and at S. Adams Drive and Monroe Drive (Aqua Quadrant). (To identify the Color Quadrants look for the color banners on the lamp posts.) and usually a lot of extra spaces made available for parking on the way into St Armand Circle in the median of John Ringling Blvd. Just follow the crowd and you'll be fine.
Hours of the event, both Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Directions: From downtown Sarasota's bay front, go over the John Ringling Bridge onto St. Armands Key. This will lead you straight to St. Armands Circle.