What’s new at the Des Moines Arts Festival

Art takes to the streets this weekend at the Des Moines Arts Festival. (Photo: John Ryan)

The Des Moines Arts Festival is back and better than ever. Nearly 200 exhibiting artists, food and drink vendors, musicians, and others offering fun activities for the whole family will surround the Pappajohn Sculpture Park this weekend for the award-winning event.

You can catch all the action from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Check the festival’s website for the full list of artists or, better yet, experience it in person. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of what to expect:

Art demonstrations: Catch live demos throughout the weekend, including painting techniques from Micah Ferin, Zimbabwean stone carving by Gedion Nyanhongo, and collage-making with Ella Richards, among many others.

Interrobang Film Festival: This juried, three-day film festival-within-the-festival features 50 films from 14 countries. Bonus: Most of the screenings are in the air-conditioned comfort of the Des Moines Central Library.

Music: Enjoy concerts from nationally touring acts like the Marshall Tucker Band and local favorite Allegra Hernandez on the Hy-Vee Main Stage near Ritual Cafe. The Roots Stage, tucked across the street from the “Nomade” sculpture, offers a more relaxed vibe with Americana music from the likes of folk singer Sunny War. Sample a festival playlist on Spotify.

Food and drink: Feast your way through dozens of booths in two food courts, standalone booths throughout the venue and collaborations with nearby restaurants. New this year is the “liquid art” area near 12th Street and Grand Avenue, offering a full menu of handcrafted mocktails and cocktails.

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