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Bloomin’ Arts Festival

March 5, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 10:00am, repeating until March 6, 2016


Frost Van Den Boom 45th Annual Bloomin’ Arts Festival

Bloomin Arts AdMarch 5 & 6, 10am-4pm. Bartow’s population nearly doubles every year on the first full weekend of March, as artists, vendors, and visitors from all over the country are drawn to the city to celebrate everything art.  Bartow’s Bloomin’ Arts Festival is back in historic downtown Bartow on the weekend of March 5-6, 2016, and is shaping up to be another record-breaker. Co-Chairs Michell Githens and Lara Fredericksen and the festival volunteers invest seven months of prep time putting together Bartow’s premiere event.

The excitement begins to build at 5:00 pm on Friday March 4, as the artists start transforming the streets of downtown into a wondrous outdoor gallery, working late into the night in anticipation of the influx of early arrivers. The Festival officially opens at 9:00 am Saturday and is a FREE event. 

Catch the kickoff of the Bloomin’ Bike Ride at Fort Blount Park, then check out the not-to-be-missed, Saturday-only Classic Car Show. Just steps away, vintage cars of all makes and models line both sides of Broadway.

Just north of the car show, you’ll step into the future of art at the Student Art Tent exhibiting art work from local elementary through high school blooming artists.  Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded for outstanding work. The High School artists would love to have you come by and talk with them about their work.

Kids will want to plant themselves at The Kid’s Activity Tent to create their own art through hands-on activities provided by The Arts Ensemble Education Foundation, or even become a work of art themselves with free face painting and temporary tattoos offered by the Mosaic Company. Located right next to the student art exhibit, this always proves to be one of the busiest areas of the festival and the wonderful volunteers make it a joyful experience for kids of all ages.

Steps away, the Polk County History Center hosts two special exhibits in conjunction with the Festival, The Bartow Art Guild Dimensions Exhibit and the Quilt Display. The Dimensions Exhibit features artists’ work from a select group of Bartow Art Guild members. Each year different artists are featured. Artwork may vary from paintings to pottery to jewelry. This exhibit runs from late February through the middle of April on the second floor. In the adjoining room will be the Quilt Display.  Quilts are on loan for the exhibit and offer a beautiful array of color and workmanship.  One quilt is donated for raffle and tickets will be available to purchase in the museum as well as the Information Booth located at the corner of Main and Central, right in front of the History Center.

Directly across from the Information Booth is the Bartow Art Guild tent.  The Guild not only displays member artwork available for sale, but also has the raffle tickets you’ll want to purchase for the chance to win an original piece created exclusively for the festival to benefit the Guild’s Bartow High School Scholarship fund.  Guild members are on hand to talk about our organization and activities.  (painting on site)

The Bartow Art Guild’s very own Bonnie Dodson, owner of Blue Donkey Pottery in Lithia, will once again be on Main Street (right next to the Guild tent) to demonstrate the art of the potter’s wheel.  Chairs are provided for viewing pleasure.

Don’t forget to step into the Main St. Bartow office (at the corner of Central and Summerlin) where you’ll find the office transformed into a floral paradise as the Bartow Garden Club brings the outdoors in.  Visitors will have the chance to vote for their favorite arrangements presented in the office.

There will be lots of entertainment to enjoy throughout the weekend. Local entertainers will be featured all day Saturday on the green at Civic Plaza at the north end of Central. The Brian Sutherland Band performs a free concert on Sunday from 12pm-3pm. Brian’s group performed last year and were such a big hit we made sure to bring them back. Don’t miss this one!

Also, on the entertainment must-see list is The Dallas and Nick Show, street entertainers extraordinaire.  Dallas and his son Nick wow the crowd with juggling, humor, straight jacket escapes, and much much more.  They will be entertaining on the corner of Davidson and Wilson and will be with us for both days of the festival.

Grab a bite to eat. Along with your favorite food trucks, you’ll find restaurants Especially 4 U, Vivian’s, Palace Italian, the Hacienda and newcomers Sweet Magnolias, Urban Oak and Mosaic’s Cafe. There’ll be something to satisfy everyone’s palate.

The 45th Annual Bloomin’ Arts Festival tee shirt, available for purchase at the Information Booth and the Guild tent, features artwork by artist and Guild member, Stephen Koury.  Stephen Koury is a perennial exhibitor at the festival and a crowd favorite.  Buy your tee shirt and visit Stephens booth and have him autograph it for you.

Originators of the festival, The Bartow Art Guild, first presented The Spring Art Festival to the city in 1960.  Over time, it has blossomed into one of the premiere events in Polk County. Now known as The Frost Van Den Bomm , PA Bloomin’ Arts Festival, and is a collaboration of The Bartow Art Guild, The Bartow Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Bartow. The all-volunteer committee includes not only Art Guild members, but also local business people, city workers, students and residents from around the county. It truly is a labor of love.  The display of fine arts along the streets neighboring the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse, includes an ever-growing array of exhibits, activities, entertainment, and food that draw artists and visitors from throughout the country.


March 5, 2016
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Bartow Art Guild

Polk Arts Alliance

PO Box 727 Bartow, FL 33831-0727 director@polkarts.org (863) 804-0494