The signs were all around Saturday:
Local food purveyors, including food trucks, satisfied meat-eaters with pulled pork and sausages while vegetarians got their pick of samosas and stir-fries.
Musicians and dancers of many styles kept the three stages busy.
Strolling the five blocks, from
The weather, warm and slightly overcast most of the day, contributed to what organizers said was a strong turnout for the 15th anniversary of the festival, with the sun occasionally poking out from the clouds to add a dose of sunshine.
"It's beautiful festival weather. This is perfect -- not too hot, not too cold, no sign of rain, and you can wear your sunglasses, so hey, something for everyone," said Katherine Pessebow, coordinator of the 150 volunteers who signed up to help the two-day festival that continues today.
The turnout appeared to be bigger on its first day than last year, Pessebow said.
"It's a steady, steady flow. We're happy with the turnout so far," she said.
The festival was expanded one block this year to compensate for the loss of land that formerly offered the main food station.
Many of the food stands, like Mineo and Sapio Italian Sausage, appeared to attract a large flow of hungry customers.
"Our popular one is our classic sausage, the royal sausage stuffed with capicolla and provolone cheese," said
At Fat Bob's Smokehouse, it was the pulled pork and mac 'n' cheese -- sometimes together -- ringing up the cash register, said
Kettle corn, a perennial favorite at the festival, attracted long lines in the early afternoon. Among those waiting was
"People are so much more friendly, the area is so much more artsy, and the houses are colorful. This is a wonderful place to be,"
"We love the festival, and it's a great city,"
"It's warm. The last time we came it was very very cold, so we're absolutely loving it this time,"
"The people are very friendly and hospitable. It's great,"
"They did an excellent job with my daughter's face painting, and we're really excited to see all the different arts and crafts that are here, and the entertainment, too. Usually, it's just one tiny booth, and this is a whole big section," Taylor said.
Several artists were quick to point out how much they liked the
"This art festival is a little different, in that it's more of an urban hipster-type setting, with many elements a lot of art shows just don't have. I love this festival," said
"I'm after commissions, and I pride my success on how many names and numbers I get," Matchette said. "I love this festival. Honestly, the work that is here is awesome from the artist's point of view."
"It's very communal. It's more of a community show," the artist said.
Manny's photographs and drawings included regional landmarks such as
A number of organizations set up tents hoping to engage passers-by in issues they felt passionately about. Among them was a plan to extend the rail line.
"We would very much like see the rapid rail extended from downtown
The festival's Pessebow said the event wouldn't have been possible without the volunteers who set up the tents, dispensed information and helped kids with arts and crafts.
"Every single person in here is so committed, and honestly, if it wasn't for them and their dedication, we would not be so successful. It's such a pleasure to run this every year," Pessebow said.
The festival continues today from
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