Spring is festival season in Fort Worth, and the most anticipated festival of the year is Main ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival. Occurring Thursday-Sunday, April 14-17, the festival is a combination of art, music, food and fun that draws thousands to the heart of downtown.
This year's Festival coincides with the 2016 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championship at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Be prepared and plan ahead. We've created a handy insider's guide to help you navigate this busy weekend!
When it comes to getting to the Main ST. Arts Festival, you have plenty of options. Of course, you can drive and park - there's even a handy map with parking availability on the Festival website.
However, to avoid the traffic, consider taking a shuttle or the TRE. The shuttle service departs from Farrington Field and Billy Bob's Texas parking lot, $5 round trip and kids under 12 ride free. Visitors coming from outside Fort Worth can ride TRE, which drops guests at the Intermodal Transportation Center located a few blocks from the Festival. Or, take advantage of Fort Worth's B-cycle program and rent a bike from one of the 14 nearby stations and ride in. If you have your own bike, Bicycles Inc. will be operating a free bike valet service at 7th and Houston streets.
BEAT THE CROWD
Art is the main attraction of the festival and over 200 artists display thier works, from sculptures to photography, throughout. We suggest browsing early on Thursday for the best selection and fewer crowds. Even if you aren't looking to purchase, strolling and viewing the art is a real treat. The art vendor area can get a little crowded on Saturday and Sunday, but that is all part of the fun.
ENJOY THE MUSICAL TALENT
Musical performances will occur on four different stages: Ut Arlington MAIN Stage, Sundance Square Stagem Star-Telegram Arts Stage and On the Streets. A full lineup and schedule is available here. The musical acts range from Texas Swing and Celtic Rock to New Orleans Brass and World Fusion. Headliners of the show include Marcia Ball, Poncho Sanchez, Maceo Parker and Squonk Opera. Don't miss local performers like Luke Wade and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
SAVE YOUR APPETITE
Grab some tasty on-the-go food like turkey legs and corn dogs from handful of local vendors. If you're looking for more of a sit-down experience, reserve a spot at one of the many restaurants in the vicinity of the festival perfect for "people watching:" Bird Cafe, Del Frisco's Grille, Mi Cocina, Little Red Wasp and Capital Grill. Reservations are highly encouraged because those prime spots won't last long. For more casual dining check out Taco Diner and Oliver's Fine Food.
BRING THE FAMILY
The Children's Area of the Festival provides many activities for the whole family to enjoy. Some of the activities are free while others require festival coupons. This year, free opportunities include: balloon designs, Play Doh Creations, Fun with Bookmarks and Ceramic Tile Painting. There will also be glitter tattoos, face painting, caricatures and henna designs for purchase.