A year after getting rave reviews for expanding beyond the intersection of Sixth and Columbia streets, the annual Snake Alley Art Fair will once again this year encircle an entire city block in art, food and music.
The 51st annual event will have artists set up on Columbia Street between Sixth and Seventh streets, and on those streets, too, as far as Court Street, where food vendors will set up for the day.
A group of emerging artists, meanwhile, will set up their booths on Snake Alley itself.
"That worked out really nice," said Art Center of Burlington director Tammy McCoy of the move in 2017 to go away from stretching artists along two blocks of Sixth Street, from Snake Alley to High Street.
About 90 artists, including new and returning vendors, will set up for the fair, which is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
"I think we have a great lineup of artists, new and old," McCoy said.
It is the Art Guild of Burlington's largest annual fundraiser, and income helps to support Art Center programs and outreach throughout the year, McCoy said. As Burlington's largest art event of he year, it also draws attention to art in the community, McCoy said.
The booths on Snake Alley are being coordinated by Allied Creator Studios, which is led by Aldo Leopold Middle School art teacher Tony Onesto, and will feature work by artists who are still in school or who are still developing their art and not quite ready to set up among the more experienced artists who will occupy the rest of the fair. The showcase of emerging artists will include the same media as will be found elsewhere at the fair, and McCoy said it's still quality art. And its for sale, too.
Live music will be in two locations during the fair, including the usual spot near the top of Snake Alley at the corner of Sixth and Columbia. A new music venue will be at Seventh and Court streets. A trio of strolling musicians also will play at spots around the art fair grounds.
In addition to the commercial food vendors that will set up in a food court on Court Street, fairgoers still will find their art fair must-haves: kettle corn, lemonade shakeups; and new this year, a smoothie maker.
Free children's craft activities will be at the craft tent. Pinned It Creations will set up a booth at Seventh and Columbia where people will be able to stamp a tote bag with the 2018 art fair poster image. Majestic Estate, just down the hill from Seventh and Columbia, will have live music, too, as well as food and a wine and beer garden.
A free parking shuttle will be operate all day between the art fair site and the parking lot at North Hill Elementary School at Ninth and Arch streets. McCoy said the off-site parking is meant to help people get to and from the fair in a downtown that will be busy with Burlington Steamboat Days activities, too.
Anyone with questions, or who may be in need of assistance getting a large purchase to their vehicle, should come to the Art Center's merchandise table at Sixth and Columbia streets. Next to the merchandise table will be a booth filled with work by featured artist Ken Reif of Chicago. Reif has attended several events at the Art Center, including participation in the most recent Battle of the Brushes fundraiser. He also was Burlington Fine Arts League GALA featured artist in 2017.
Reif will be on-hand to sign copies of the 2018 Snake Alley Art Fair poster, which features his painting of Snake Alley. The original painting will be raffled, with single tickets going for $5 and available at the Art Center merchandise table. Additional tickets are available at a discount.
The merchandise table also is where fairgoers will submit their votes for People's Choice by writing in their favorite artist's booth number. The winning artist will receive free booth space at the 2019 event.