Loud and proud in bringing community and artists together, Summer of the Arts invites the whole family to the award-winning Iowa Arts Festival this weekend in downtown Iowa City, May 31–June 2, 2019. Started in 1983 by local downtown businesses and volunteers as a way to kick-off summer, the festival hasn’t stopped kicking.
This year’s festival hosts over 115 local and national artists, with the addition of a Non-Profit Art Pavilion, located next to the Emerging Artist Pavilion (showcasing high school and college artists). Fine art genres on display include ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, sculpture, wood carvings, photography, mixed media, painting, and printmaking.
Hours for the art fair are 5–8 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 10–7 on Saturday, June 1, and 10–4 on Sunday, June 2.
The Iowa City Carnival Parade officially sets off the event on Friday, May 31, at 5:30 p.m. Little known fact: “Anyone can join in on the festival,” says Executive Director Lisa Barnes, “[by] either wearing their own costume or borrowing one from the coordinator of the parade, Loyce Arthur, who is a costume designer in the Theater Arts Department at UI.”
Grab a festival map, or download it at summerofthehearts.org, to navigate your way through a cornucopia of food vendors, musicians, and fun festival activities. Don’t miss exciting events like Carnival Flash Mob, Poetry in Public, or Silver Swing Jazz Band. It’s worth searching out Solon-based Moo Moo’s Ice Cream, which will be selling “all Iowa-made ice creams” from their truck painted to look like a cow.
This year’s festival also features an upgrade to the Beverage Garden. “It will no longer be a ‘cage’ with tall fencing but will have more of a garden feel,” Lisa says, with landscaping provided by Sustainable Landscape Solutions and King’s Material.
Four parking ramps will be available, offering over 3,000 spots, so there’s sure to be room to park and enjoy “free, family-friendly, high-quality entertainment” that is Iowa City’s “most anticipated art event of the summer.” Iowa City buses will also be free on Friday and Saturday.
Here’s the schedule of events: