The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is proud to celebrate its 23rd anniversary this year from Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 9. Voted “Best Festival in Dallas” by local pools and ranked by participating artists among the top 50 arts festivals in the nation, the Festival continues with last year’s expansion of three blocks east to begin at Malcolm X Blvd. and end at Exposition Ave. outside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall, which also serves at the Festival’s headquarters. The Festival opens for lunch on Friday at 11 a.m., offering downtown office workers a special opportunity to review 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 concessionaries 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 Tennessee-based surrealism artist Jason Brueck, California-based storytelling on canvas and metal artist Vic Lee, New Orleans-based ink and watercolor artists Nurhan Gokturk, Kansas-based glass and metal sculpture Rollin Karg and Utah-based photographer-turned-illustrator Heather Renaux. All artists will be displaying and selling their works. 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 Deep Ellum 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 will also feature more than 150 performances including bands and solo musicians from all over the metroplex and beyond. They will perform only original music to represent a variety of genres from four outdoor stages and two indoor stages inside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall. Local musical artists set to perform at the Festival include indie-pop rockers Northern National, blues masters Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat, psychedelic rock band The Mammoths, local award winning star Sam Lao, serious guitar shredder Neil Swanson, and Polka favorites Brave Combo.
Kicking off this April, this year’s festival will also feature street performers, jugglers and other whimsical characters throughout the weekend, along with slam poetry competitions hosted by Dallas Poetry Slam. Between Walton and Murray Streets there will be two performance areas, where guests can watch live street performances of talented buskers of varied genres.
Festival restaurants and concessionaires will be serving a variety of culinary delights throughout the evening. In the Deep Ellum Texas Village, signature Deep Ellum hot spots will be providing samples of their most popular food and beverage for sale. 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 take place on Sunday, April 9 at 1 p.m., and for the first time ever will be followed by The Deep Ellum People’s Parade! Several local Deep Ellum groups will be marching in solidarity, spreading good vibes and positive energy. All are welcome to join in the fun by marching with us, wearing fun costumes and spreading the love. There will be marching music, colorful characters and floats, including large original art sculptures created by the DFW art community, and of course, plenty of delightful surprises along the way. The parade will begin at Exposition Ave. and will run all six blocks of the festival, concluding at Malcolm X. To register for the Pet Parade, go to http://deepellumartsfestival.com/pet-parade/pet-parade. To register for the Deep Ellum People’s Parade, please visit http://deepellumartsfestival.com/pet-parade/peoples-parade.