A few of the thousands of festivals and live events held annually across the U.S. draw up to one million or more participants. The following are examples of such events: Auto Shows
• Production cars and concept cars are introduced annually at major auto shows throughout the United States. Attendance ranges from 500,000 to over one million at major shows. The following are the most prominent auto shows:
– Atlanta International Auto Show (Atlanta, GA; www.goautoshow.com)
– Chicago Auto Show (Chicago, IL; www.chicagoautoshow.com)
– Cleveland Auto Show (Cleveland, OH; www.clevelandautoshow.com)
– DFW Auto Show (Dallas, TX; www.dallasautoshow.com)
– Houston Auto Show (Houston, TX; www.houstonautoshow.com)
– Los Angeles Auto Show (Los Angeles, CA; www.laautoshow.com)
– North American International Auto Show (Detroit, MI; www.naias.com)
– Philadelphia International Auto Show (Philadelphia, PA; www.phillyautoshow.com)
– San Francisco International Auto Show (San Francisco, CA; www.sfautoshow.com)
– Seattle International Auto Show (Seattle, WA; www.seattleautoshow.com)
– Saint Louis Auto Show (St. Louis, MO; www.saintlouisautoshow.com)
– Washington Auto Show (Washington, DC; www.washingtonautoshow.com)
• Woodward Dream Cruise (www.woodwarddreamcruise.com), held since 1993 in Detroit and the largest among classic car shows, draws one million spectators.
• Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks (New York, NY) is typically attended by 1.5 million people, making it the most-attended fireworks display event in the U.S.
• The annual Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show, part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, is unchallenged as the largest annual pyrotechnic production in North America. The economic impact is $31 million for the one-day event, a huge return on a roughly $1 million investment. An estimated 800,000 people see the annual show.
• Some estimates are that more than two million people are packed into Times Square and the nearby streets for the annual New Years Eve event; other estimates of attendance are in the 500,000 range.
• First Night Boston, the oldest and largest alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration in the U.S. – held at several locations throughout the city – attracts about 1.5 million people.
Mega Festivals & Events in USA Photo Gallery
• Events of Mardi Gras (New Orleans, LA) draw more than one million participants each year, according to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. A recent study conducted by Tulane University estimated the direct economic impact of Mardi Gras at roughly $144 million. Other studies have estimated the economic impact at more than $500 million.
• A renewed interest in motorcycling, along with a new group of fans who are interested in the old rallies, has led to huge attendance numbers for classic motorcycle rallies. The top three – Daytona Beach Bike Week, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and Laconia – are among the largest events held annually in the U.S. The following is a summary of these and other large events:
– The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com) has been held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, since 1938. Attendance was estimated at
420,000 for the August 2014 event, with over 605,000 in the region from the weekend before and through the event. Activities included the annual Mount Rushmore Ride, several concerts, a beauty pageant, and a chopper raffle.
– Daytona Beach Bike Week (www.officialbikeweek.com), a 10-day event, is held annually in March. Attended by approximately 500,000, festivities include motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals.
– Laconia Motorcycle Week (www.laconiamcweek.com) is held annually in June in Laconia, New Hampshire. Attendance is estimated between 100,000 and
400,000. Events include races, shows, and a motorcycle hill climb competition.
– The Lone Star Rally (www.lonestarrally.com), held each November in Galveston, Texas, features two dozen bands playing 50 free concerts, the Leather n’ Lace Costume Ball, a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride, fashion shows, a tattoo contest, poker runs, and other events. The 2014 rally was attended by over 350,000 people (excluding those who came for the concerts only).
– The Republic of Texas Biker Rally (www.rotrally.com), held each June in Austin, attracts over 200,000 bikers.
• Among annual parades held across the U.S. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York, NY) is the largest, with the number of spectators typically in the 3.5 million range. An additional 22 million watch the broadcast on NBC.
• In New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a two-week celebration with one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the celebration. Mardi Gras parades are held in numerous other cities throughout the U.S. Among these,
Carnival San Francisco is probably the most elaborate.
• The Tournament of Roses Parade, better known as the Rose Parade, dates to 1890. The Rose Bowl college football game was started in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade. The parade is watched in person by up to one million spectators on the parade route, and is broadcast on multiple television networks in the United States (ABC holds the official contract, but because it is a public parade, other networks are allowed to produce their own coverage). The parade is also broadcast in more than 200 international territories and countries.
• St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Boston and New York each draw one million to two million spectators. The parade in San Diego draws slightly under one million.
• New York’s Village Halloween Parade, an annual holiday parade and street pageant staged in Greenwich Village, stretches more than a mile and features fifty thousand costumed participants, dancers, artists, circus performers, dozens of floats bearing live bands, and other musical and performing acts. The event draws an estimated two million spectators and a worldwide television audience of one hundred million.
• Attendance at the West Indian Day Parade, held annually in Brooklyn on Labor Day, has been estimated between one million and four million.
• The Summerfest music festival in downtown Milwaukee draws over one million in attendance over 11 days; it is recognized as the largest annual music festival in the United States. Surveys have found that 56% of Summerfest patrons live in the four counties comprising the greater metropolitan Milwaukee area, 22% of patrons live in other areas of Wisconsin, and 22% of patrons travel to the festival from outside Wisconsin.
• More than 1.1 million people attended the 34 th Taste of Chicago (June 2016).
• The two largest gay pride festivals in North America, Gay Pride Week (Toronto) and Divers/Cite (Montreal), are each attended by an estimated one million people.
• An estimated 3.5 million people attend the 11-day Fiesta San Antonio.
• The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (www.rodeohouston.com) draws about
2.1 million spectators each year.
• The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (www.sarodeo.com) reports an attendance of 1.1 million.
• Between 900,000 and one million people attend the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (www.fwssr.com).
State and County Fairs
• The State Fair of Texas (http://bigtex.com), held annually in late-September into October in Dallas, is the largest among state fairs. More than three million people attend the three-week fair each year.
• Sixteen (16) other fairs drew one million or more people in 2015 (see 106.1).
• Many neighborhoods across the U.S. host annual block parties and street festivals. Some have grown in popularity, attracting thousands of out-of-towners as well as locals.
• The largest street festival in the U.S. is the Feast of San Gennaro (www.sangennaro.org), celebrated in New York City’s Little Italy section between Canal and Mott Streets. Although scaled down recently due to crowd control measures, the 11-day event has an estimated one million in attendance.
• The Calle Ocho festival (http://carnavalmiami.com/index.php/calle-ocho), the country’s biggest Hispanic street party held annually in March in the Little Havana district of Miami, draws more than a million people.
102.2 Political Conventions
The U.S. Travel Association (www.ustravel.org) assessed combined traveler spending in host cities for the two major-party conventions in Summer 2016 at $360 million – $180 million each for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 18-21 and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25-28.
Including indirect and induced impact, a total of $600 million in economic output
– $300 million for each convention – was generated for both host regions. This economic impact encompasses spending by attendees on lodging, meals, transportation, and general retail, as well as spending by each host committee and funding for security.
The following are combined numbers for both conventions:
• Total projected attendees: 100,000-120,000
• Delegates: 10,000-12,000
• Media members: 30,000-36,000
• Other visitors and participants: 60,000-72,000
• Average daily trip spending per attendee: $300
• Hotel/other lodging room nights: 148,500
• Total lodging revenues: $33 million
The 2012 Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3 through September 7, drew 30,000 to 35,000 out-of-town visitors. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (www.crva.com) estimated the economic impact at $150 million to $200 million.
The Tampa Bay area received an economic boost of approximately $175 million from the 2012 Republican National Convention, August 28 through September 6, according to the RNC Host Committee.
According to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Impact Report, the total direct economic impact of the convention on the Denver metropolitan area was $133 million.
The 2008 Republican National Convention Impact Report estimated 45,000 people came to the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area for the convention. Direct spending was estimated at $170 million.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino estimated the economic impact of the 2004 Democratic National Convention on the city at $154 million. The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University (www.beaconhill.org), however, estimated a net economic gain of $14.8 million to the Boston economy for the same convention.
Presidential inaugurations are among the largest national celebrations that regularly occur in the United States, and they consistently attract hundreds of thousands of spectators to Washington, D.C. A flurry of festivities for guests in the nation’s capital as well as throughout the United States are centered around the inauguration.
Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration was the largest in history, with an estimated 2 million people in Washington, D.C. for the event. George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration attracted an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 attendees while Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration in 1965 drew 1.2 million spectators.
The local economic impact of the 2009 inauguration was estimated at more than $400 million.
The approximately 600 hotels and 95,000 rooms in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area were sold out for the 2009 inauguration, according to the Washington Convention & Visitors Association. Hotel suite rates of between $9,000 and $20,000 per night were reported. The Mandarin Oriental offered a $200,900 inaugural package that included four nights in the Presidential Suite with various amenities. On average, area hotels charged $500 to $600 per night.
The second inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2013 was attended by approximately 1.0 million people.
According to the U.S. Travel (www.ustravel.org), approximately two million annually recurring events are hosted each year in North America. The spectrum is broad, with events ranging from state fairs to air shows to film festivals and more.
The International Festivals & Events Association (www.ifea.com) estimates total attendance at these events at 405 million. The economic impact is $25 billion.
Approximately 3,250 fairs are held annually in the United States and Canada, according to the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (www.fairsandexpos.com). Approximately 150 million visitors attend these events.
According to Carnival Warehouse, the Top 50 annual fairs attract more than 40 million people annually.
Top 100 Events
The American Bus Association (ABA, www.buses.org) annually compiles a list of the Top 100 events for group travel. The list is selected by a committee of ABA-member motorcoach and tour operators. The following events and festivals comprised the list for 2016:
• 2016 Magic Christmas In Lights (Mobile; 11/27/2016 – 1/2/2017)
• National Shrimp Festival (Gulf Shores; 10/8/2016 – 10/11/2016)
• The Galaxy of Lights (Huntsville; 11/24/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (Anchorage and Willow; 3/5/2016)
• Midnight Sun Festival (Fairbanks; 6/19/2016)
• World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (Fairbanks; 7/20/2016 – 7/23/2016)
• Yuma Lettuce Days (Yuma; 2/27/2016 – 2/28/2016)
• Mendocino County Mushroom, Wine & Beer Festival (Mendocino County; 11/1/2016 -11/30/2016)
• Pasadena Tournament of Roses (Pasadena; 1/1/2016)
• Donkey Derby Days (Cripple Creek; 6/25/2016 – 6/26/2016)
• 9th Annual Garlic Festival in Olde Mistick Village (Mystic; 9/17/2016 – 9/18/2016) Delaware
• Apple-Scrapple Festival (Bridgeville; 10/14/2016 – 10/15/2016)
• Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival (Rehoboth Beach; 10/28/2016 -10/30/2016)
District of Columbia
• National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington; 3/20/2016 – 4/17/2016)
• Daytona 500 (Daytona Beach; 2/21/2016)
• Edison Ford Holiday Nights (Ft. Myers; 11/25/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• International Carillon Festival (Springfield; 6/1/2016 – 6/5/2016)
• 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (Indianapolis; 5/29/2016)
• Amish Acres 54th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival (Nappanee; 8/4/2016 – 8/7/2016)
• Shipshewana Quilt Festival (Shipshewana; 6/22/2016 – 6/25/2016)
• Dodge City Days (Dodge City; 7/29/2016 – 8/7/2016)
• Prairie Rose Western Days (Benton; 5/7/2016 – 5/8/2016)
• Tulip Time in Topeka (Topeka; 4/4/2016 – 4/24/2016)
• 61st Kentucky Derby Festival & 142nd Kentucky Derby (Louisville; 4/23/2016 -5/7/2016)
• Christmas at the Galt House (Louisville; 11/17/2016 – 12/27/2016)
• Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown; 9/13/2016 – 9/18/2016)
• Louisiana Seafood Festival (New Orleans; 9/2/2016 – 9/4/2016)
• Cajun & Creole Mardi Gras (Lafayette; 2/5/2016 – 2/9/2016)
• Mardi Gras (New Orleans; 2/9/2016)
• Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland; 8/3/2016 – 8/7/2016)
• Windjammer Days Boothbay Festival (Boothbay Harbor; 6/19/2016 – 6/25/2016)
• 40 Years a Saint – 40th Anniversary of Elizabeth Seton’s Canonization (Emmitsburg; 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• Waterfowl Festival (Easton; 11/11/2016 – 11/13/2016)
• 35th Annual Boston Harborfest 2016 (Boston, Mass.; TBA)
• America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration (Plymouth; 11/18/2016 – 11/20/2016)
• Annual Pops By The Sea (Hyannis; 9/14/2016)
• Salem Haunted Happenings (Salem; 10/1/2016 – 10/31/2016)
• Scallop Festival (East Falmouth; 9/23/2016 – 9/25/2016)
• The Big E (Springfield; 9/16/2016 – 10/2/2016)
• Working Waterfront Festival (New Bedford; 9/24/2016 – 9/25/2016)
• Alpenfest (Gaylord; 6/12/2016 – 6/16/2016)
• Holland Tulip Time Festival (Holland; 5/7/2016 – 5/14/2016)
• Mackinac Island Lilac Festival (Mackinac Island; 6/3/2016 – 6/12/2016)
• St. Paul Winter Carnival (Saint Paul; 1/28/2016 – 2/7/2016)
• Cruisin’ The Coast (Pascagoula, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis, D’Iberville; 10/2/2016 – 10/9/2016)
• Garden Glow (St. Louis; 11/19/2016 – 1/1/2017)
• Ozark Mountain Christmas (Branson; 11/1/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis (St. Louis; 6/25/2016 – 2/12/2017)
• See the World in Branson Music Fest (Branson; 4/27/2016 – 4/28/2016)
• Lewis & Clark Festival (Great Falls; 6/17/2016 – 6/19/2016)
• Montana Folk Festival (Butte; 7/8/2016 – 7/10/2016)
• Hampton Beach Seafood Festival (Hampton; 9/9/2015 – 9/11/2016)
• League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair (Newbury; 8/6/2016 – 8/14/2016)
• New England Brewfest (Lincoln; 6/24/2016 – 6/26/2016)
• New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival (Lincoln; 9/16/2016 – 9/18/2016)
• Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque; 10/1/2016 – 10/9/2016) New York
• Finger Lakes Wine Festival 2016 (Watkins Glen; 7/8/2016 – 7/10/2016)
• GlassFest 2016 (Corning; 5/26/2016 – 5/29/2016)
• Lucille Ball Comedy Festival (Jamestown; 8/4/2016 – 8/7/2016)
• Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York; 11/24/2016)
• New York Renaissance Faire (Tuxedo Park, 8/6/2016 – 9/25/2016)
• Christmas at the Library (Charlotte; 12/1/2016 – 12/23/2016)
• Christmas at Biltmore (Asheville; 11/4/2016 – 1/8/2017)
• KeplinFest (Belcourt; 8/6/2016 – 8/7/2016)
• Medora Musical (Medora; 6/3/2016 – 9/10/2016)
• Norsk Hostfest (Minot; 9/27/2016 – 10/1/2016)
• United Tribes International Powwow (Bismarck; 9/8/2016 – 9/11/2016)
• Christmas In The Country Event (Walnut Creek; 11/19/2016 – 12/17/2016)
• Deck the Hall (Akron; 11/28/2016 – 1/3/2017)
• Portland Rose Festival (Portland; 5/27/2016 – 6/12/2016)
• 153rd Annual Gettysburg Reenactment (Gettysburg; 7/3/2016 – 7/5/2016)
• Ft. Ligonier Days (Ligonier; 10/14/2016 – 10/16/2016)
• Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (Manheim; 8/1/2016 – 10/1/2016)
• PHS Philadelphia Flower Show (Philadelphia; 3/5/2016 – 3/13/2016)
• Tall Ships Erie 2016 (Erie; 9/8/2016 – 9/11/2016)
• World War II Weekend (Reading; 6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016)
• Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular (Providence; 10/3/2016 – 11/6/2016)
• Newport Flower Show (Newport; 6/24/2016 – 6/26/2016)
• Brookgreen Gardens Nights of a Thousand Candles (Murrells Inlet; 12/1/2016 -12/17/2016)
• Holiday FantaSea (Myrtle Beach; 11/8/2016 – 11/15/2016)
• Annual Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival (Custer; 9/29/2016 – 10/1/2016)
• A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort (Nashville; 11/20/2016 – 1/3/2017)
• Gatlinburg 4th of July Celebration (Gatlinburg; 7/3/2016 – 7/4/2016)
• Gatlinburg Beans & Cornbread Festival (Gatlinburg; 5/12/2016)
• Heroes, Hometowns & Legends/Welcome Home Vietnam (Clarksville; 9/13/2016 -9/16/2016)
• Museum of Appalachia’s Tennessee Fall Homecoming (Norris; 10/7/2016 -10/9/2016)
• National Cornbread Festival (South Pittsburg; 4/23/2016 – 4/24/2016)
• Pigeon Forge Winterfest (Pigeon Forge; 11/8/2016 – 2/28/2017
• Rivers & Spires Festival (Clarksville; 4/14/2016 – 4/16/2016)
• 125th Annual Fiesta San Antonio (San Antonio; 4/14/2016 – 4/24/2016)
• San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (San Antonio; 2/11/2016 – 2/28/2016)
• GrapeFest (Grapevine; 9/15/2016 – 9/18/2016)
• Christmas Capital of Texas (Grapevine; 11/19/2016 – 1/3/2017)
• Celebration of Peonies at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home (5/22/2016 – 6/22/2016) Virginia
• 2016 NAS Oceana Air Show (Virginia Beach; 9/17/2016 – 9/18/2016)
• Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon; 12/1/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• Christmas in Williamsburg (Williamsburg; 11/25/2016 – 12/31/2016)
• Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination (Williamsburg; 12/4/2016)
• Harborfest (Norfolk; 6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016)
• Patriotic Festival: A Celebration of Our Military (Virginia Beach; 6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016)
• Virginia International Tattoo & Arts Festival (Norfolk; 4/21/2016 – 4/24/2016)
• Spokane Lilac Festival & Armed Forces Torchlight Parade (Spokane; 5/21/2016)
• The Lights of Christmas Festival (Stanwood; 12/1/2016 – 12/29/2016)
• Vintage Aircraft Weekend (Mukilteo; 9/2/2016 – 9/4/2016)
• Hinton Railroad Days (Hinton; 10/15/2016 – 10/23/2016)
• Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights (Wheeling; 11/11/2016 – 1/8/2017)
• Rocket Boys Festival (Beckley; 10/6/2016 – 10/8/2016)
• Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration (Baraboo; 7/23/2016)
• Warren’s Cranberry Festival (Warren; 9/23/2016 – 9/24/2016)
• Cheyenne Frontier Days (Cheyenne; 7/22/2016 – 7/31/2016)
• Eastern Shoshone Indian Days (Ft. Washakie; 6/24/2016 – 6/26/2016)
• Longmire Days (Buffalo; 7/15/2016 – 7/17/2016)
103.3 Market Resources
American Bus Association, 111 K Street NE, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.
(202) 842-1645. (www.buses.org)
International Association of Fairs and Expositions, 3043 E. Cairo, Springfield, MO 65802. (800) 516-0313. (www.fairsandexpos.com)
International Festivals & Events Association, 2603 W. Eastover Terrace, Boise, ID 83706. (208) 433-0950. (www.ifea.com)
ARTS & CULTURAL FESTIVALS
104.1 Arts Fairs and Events
Arts and cultural festivals explore various mediums of art, ranging from fine arts to DIY and crafting, to music and film, to literary arts and more. This chapter explores the vast array – over 10,000 – of cultural events held annually throughout the U.S.
Art Basel Miami Beach (www.artbasel.com/en/Miami-Beach), which in December 2013 featured art priced at between $2,000 to $20 million and attracted a record 75,000 visitors in its 12th year, is the nation’s largest art fair. An analysis by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact to the city’s local economy at $500 million.
“Just in the non-profit art world it’s $1.1 billion a year that gets produced in Miami-Dade County.
I think you can conservatively double that number if you took into account all the commercial activity that goes on in here as well. I would estimate more than $2 billion of economic activity attributable to the arts and cultural events.”
Michael Spring, Director Department of Cultural Affairs Miami-Dade County
The following are among the major arts fairs and festivals (sources: American Style, Art Fair Calendar, Chicago Tribune, and various local media):
• Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original (Ann Arbor, MI; www.artfair.org)
• Annual Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (Ann Arbor, MI; www.theguild.org/fairs/ann-arbor-art-fair)
• Arts, Beats & Eats (Royal Oak, MI; www.artsbeatseats.com)
• Atlanta Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA; www.atlantaartsfestival.com)
• Bayou City Art Festival (Houston, TX; www.bayoucityartfestival.com)
• Bellevue Festival of The Arts (Bellevue, WA; www.bellevuefest.org)
• Brookside Art Annual (Kansas City, MO; www.brooksidekc.org/bba/art-annual)
• Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (State College, PA; www.arts-festival.com)
• Cherry Creek Arts Festival (Denver, CO; www.cherryarts.org)
• Coconut Grove Arts Festival (Coconut Grove, FL; www.cgaf.com)
• Columbus Arts Festival (Columbus, OH; www.columbusartsfestival.org)
• Des Moines Arts Festival (Des Moines, IA; www.desmoinesartsfestival.org)
• Festival of Fine Craft (Millville, NJ; www.wheatonarts.org)
• Kentuck Festival of the Arts (Northport, AL; http://kentuck.org/festival.html)
• Kentucky Crafted: The Market (Louisville, KY; http://kycraft.ky.gov/)
• Krasl Art Fair (St. Joseph, MI; www.krasl.org)
• Lakefront Festival of Art (Milwaukee, WI; http://lfoa.mam.org/)
• LaQuinta Arts Festival (LaQuinta, CA; www.lqaf.com)
• Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival (Lancaster, PA; http://longspark.org/art-craft-festival)
• Main Street, Fort Worth Arts Festival (Fort Worth, TX; www.mainstreetartsfest.org)
• National Black Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA; www.nbaf.org)
• Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival (Reston, VA; http://northernvirginiafineartsfestival.org)
• Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts (Oklahoma City, OK; www.artscouncilokc.com/festival-of-the-arts)
• Old Town Art Fair (Chicago, IL; www.oldtowntriangle.com)
• Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton, MA; www.paradisecityarts.com)
• Park City Kimball Arts Festival (Park City, UT; www.parkcitykimballartsfestival.org)
• Plaza Art Fair (Kansas City, MO; www.countryclubplaza.com/Events/Plaza-Art-Fair)
• Sausalito Art Festival (Sausalito, CA; www.sausalitoartfestival.org/)
• Scottsdale Arts Festival (Scottsdale, AZ; www.scottsdaleartsfestival.org)
• St. James Court Art Show (Louisville, KY; www.stjamescourtartshow.com)
• St. Louis Art Fair (Clayton, MO; www.culturalfestivals.com)
• Uptown Art Fair (Minneapolis, MN; http://uptownartfair.com/)
• Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival (Winter Park, FL; www.wpsaf.org)
104.2 Crafts Fairs and Festivals
Craft festivals are particularly popular among crafts enthusiasts and artisan hobbyists. The following are some of the most popular annual festivals:
American Craft Council Craft Show (various cities; http://craftcouncil.org/shows)
• Shows held in Atlanta, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Saint Paul attract more than
50,000 collectors and craft enthusiasts.
American Quilter’s Society Annual Quilt Show (Paducah, KY; www.americanquilter.com)
Held annually in April, the event draws 35,000 quilt makers and quilt lovers.
“This niche craft has been used as an economic engine to revive this once-declining town. During the show, quilts decorate almost every shop window in town. Paducah’s success in quilt tourism has spawned a rise in big quilt shows across the country.”
The Wall Street Journal
International Quilt Festival (www.quilts.com)
• Events held in Chicago and Houston are the largest annual festivals of their type. Crafts other than quilting are also represented at the festivals.
Maker Faire Bay Area (www.makerfaire.com)
• Maker Faire bills itself as The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. A record 195,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2013. Half attend the event with children. Also in 2013, 98 independently produced Mini and Featured Maker Faires occurred around the world. A list of global Maker Faire events is available at http://makerfaire.com/map/.
Pennsylvania Dutch Kutztown Folk Festival (Summit Station, PA;
• Held annually since 1949, The Kutztown Folk Festival is the oldest continuously operated folklife festival in America. The festival includes the largest quilt display and sale in the United States.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (www.pmacraftshow.org)
• Held annually since 1976, the four-day show has an average attendance of 25,000 to 30,000. Approximately 200 artists are selected from more than 1,400 applicants to exhibit at the show.
Smithsonian Craft Show (Washington, DC; www.smithsoniancraftshow.org)
• This juried show is held at the National Building Museum and attended by over
Washington Craft Show (www.craftsamericashows.com/wash main.htm)
• This is a four-day event held every December since 1987. The show is staged at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, hosted annually since 2012 in West Palm Beach, is the sister show.
STITCHES East, STITCHES Midwest, STITCHES South, and STITCHES West (www.knittinguniverse.com)
• Knitter’s Magazine sponsors four regional shows geared toward sewing and yarn arts enthusiasts. Shows include STITCHES East (Hartford, CT), STITCHES Midwest (Shaumburg, IL), STITCHES South (Nashville, TN), and STITCHES West (Bernalillo, NM).
According to Sunshine Artist Magazine, approximately 10,000 arts and crafts festivals are held annually in the United States.
Directories of events are posted online at www.sunshineartist.com/shows and www.thecraftshows.net.
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