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Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County returns to Bradenton

Aileen Lampman will have her jewelry on display at this weekend’s Fine Arts Festival in downtown Bradenton.
Aileen Lampman will have her jewelry on display at this weekend’s Fine Arts Festival in downtown Bradenton. PROVIDED PHOTO

It’s being billed as the second annual Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County. The downtown Bradenton event drew about 1,000 people last year, and with ideal weather forecast for this weekend there’s every reason to expect at least that many people this time.

But the festival has a longer history than just those two years. For 15 years, the Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County was a popular event in Lakewood Ranch. So this is really its 17th year. ArtCenter Manatee became the organizer of the event last year and moved it to 500 15th St. W., at the corner of Manatee Avenue West. That’s the site of the old City Hall.

ArtCenter Manatee officials say that more than 75 artists will show their work at this year’s festival. They’ll be part of a juried show with cash prizes. Genres include fine craft, jewelry, painting and drawing, photography, pottery and sculpture. Most of the works will be for sale.

The festival includes food vendors and live music. Organizers try to keep the music a little bit away from the artists’ booths so it’s not blasting in the ears of the artists and their patrons.

There’s no charge for admission, and parking is free in the Financial Center Building across the street, at 1402 Manatee Ave. W.

Details: Feb. 25-26, 500 15th St. W., Bradenton. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free. 941-746-2862, artcentermanatee.org.

Marty Clear: 941-708-7919, @martinclear

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