The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is proud to celebrate its 22nd anniversary this year from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3. Voted “Best Festival in Dallas” by local polls and ranked by participating artists among the top 50 arts festivals in the nation, the Festival is expanding this year by shifting three blocks east to now begin at Malcolm X Blvd. and end at Exposition Avenue outside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall, which will also serve at the Festival’s new headquarters. The Festival opens for lunch on Friday at 11 a.m., offering downtown office workers a special opportunity to preview the Festival during their lunch break. Other local galleries, restaurants, bars and shops on Main Street between Good Latimer and Malcolm X will be open and bustling with special activities throughout the weekend. This is an “adult-oriented” visual and performing arts festival; while supervised young children and teenagers are welcome during the day, there are no specifically planned activities for them.
With dozens of concessionaires and local restaurants, guests can enjoy a wide array of tasty local cuisines, beer, wine and cocktails while experiencing more than 200 juried fine artists such as Minnesota-based pop artist Kristi Abbott, Georgia-based mixed media artist Diana Ahrens, Chicago-based photographer Xavier Nuez, New Orleans-based pencil artist Jeffrey St. Romain, and Round Rock-based painter Natasha Mylius. All artists will be displaying and selling their works, many of which will be created live. The exquisite collections showcased will include paintings, sculptures, murals, jewelry and other original works of art. Various Deep Ellum musicians and artists will be creating and inspiring live, local art to happen as they keep the spirit of Dallas alive in the Deep Ellum, TX Village area at the open lot located at the corner of Main and Malcolm X Blvd. Food fares from popular Deep Ellum restaurants will also be available for purchase in this area.
The adult-oriented three-day Festival, which will cover six city blocks of Main Street in Dallas’ Entertainment District, will also feature more than 100 performances including bands and solo musicians from all over the metroplex and beyond performing only original music representing a variety of genres from four outdoor stages and two new indoor stages inside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall. Local musical artists set to perform at the Festival include blues-soul musician Charley Crocket, folk-rock group Parallel Play, indie-pop rockers Northern National, electro-dance artist Dezi 5, indie rock quartet Valise, blues artist Michael Lee and Grammy Award-winning polka band Brave Combo.
Kicking off on April Fools’ Day, (inspiration for this year’s poster art) this year’s Festival will also feature street performers, jugglers and other whimsical characters throughout the weekend, along with Poetry Slam‘s open mic, as well as The Deep Ellum Speakers Corner, which is open to the public, and where each speaker will be given time to utilize their right to free speech on a topic of their choice, no microphone, just open ended viewpoints in soap box-style! Interested parties can register on-site, step up and speak their mind (within posted guidelines). Between Walton and Murray Streets there will be two performance areas, where guests can watch live street performances of talented buskers.
Festival restaurants and concessionaires will be serving a variety of culinary delights throughout the evening including corn dogs, funnel cake, Barbecue, Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Cajun, American and Italian cuisine, along with crepes, specialty desserts and health-foods. In the Deep Ellum Texas Village, signature Deep Ellum hot spots will be providing samples of their most popular food and beverage for sale. Local restaurants showcased at this year’s event include: Bucky Moonshine’s, Carnival Barker‘s ice cream, Café Salsera, Cold Beer Co. and Twenty Seven. Food and beverage coupons will be available for purchase on-site during the festival from coupon sales booths in strips of ten for $10, with individual coupons available upon request. In support of festival vendors and permit regulations, no outside food or beverages may be brought into the festival.
This year, the ever-popular Pet Parade will begin Sunday, April 3 at noon. For those looking to participate in the Pet Parade Awards Ceremony, registration begins at 11 a.m. at the dog park located behind the Artist Courts Stage at Trunk and Commerce Street, with the parade starting at 12 p.m. and ending at the Songwriter Stage at the corner of Hall and Main Street. To register for the Pet Parade, please visit http://deepellumartsfestival.com/pet-parade.