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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fourth Avenue Street Fair unleashes good art, entertain, food and drink upon Tucson

    Fourth+Avenue+Street+Fair+unleashes+good+art%2C+entertain%2C+food+and+drink+upon+Tucson

    Tucson’s Fourth Avenue has a penchant for all things eccentric, artsy and even abnormal, and twice a year, things get even quirkier than usual.

    With the return of the biannual Tucson Fourth Avenue Street Fair this weekend from Friday to Sunday, newcomers and seasoned street fair visitors alike are invited to experience Fourth Avenue as Tucson’s largest arts venue.

    “I call it ‘the street of dreams,’” says Kurt Tallis, Events and Marketing Director for the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. “The Street Fair is the engine that makes Fourth Avenue possible.”

    The Street Fair been offering this colorful chaos for visitors to feast their eyes on since 1970, and this weekend is no different. An estimated 100 new vendors will join 300 Tucson natives and returning artists in displaying their wares this weekend.

    Though the Street Fair falls just short of an artsy madhouse, attendees should not be daunted.

    People: The fair is free, meaning it is perfectly acceptable to stroll down the street and gawk at all the colorful personas on display. Just, you know, be subtle about it.

    Music: Two stages, located at central locations on Fourth Avenue, offer a variety of free entertainment. The Community Stage North, located on Fourth Avenue and Fifth Street, will host dance performances, music and variety acts throughout the weekend. The Main Stage South, on Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street, will feature professional music groups.

    – Tucson Magnet HS Jovert Steel Drums: Friday/Saturday at 10 a.m., Community Stage North

    – Zuzi! Dance: Sunday at 11 a.m., Community Stage North

    – Stefan George: Friday at noon, Main Stage South

    – Electric Blankets: Saturday at 2 p.m., Main Stage South

    Food: “If you want it on a stick, we’ve got it,” Tallis said. “Blow off your diet.” But really, with more than 30 food vendors, the opportunities to indulge are endless. “The kettle corn — I have an obsession with that,” said Ginger Lunt, a sales associate at Creations on Fourth Avenue.

    Not to be missed: – Turkey legs at Piggly Wiggly

    – Kettle corn at Sweet Pickin’s Kettle Corn

    – Indian fry bread at Funnel Cake West

    – Roasted corn at Arizona Roasted Corn

    Beer: The Street Fair functions as a beer garden too, offering six different locations to booze up while you walk around. No one goes thirsty at the Street Fair.

    Vendors: The Street Fair allows visitors to discover both local and visiting merchants without leaving this single street. “There’s a lot of really cool artwork,” says Lunt. “You can get some pretty cool prints.”

    Not to be missed: – Klickitat Pottery: earthenware pottery, inexpensive

    – Desert Vintage: high-quality vintage clothing, slightly pricy

    – Rustic Candle Company: hand poured candles, in earthy tones and fragrances

    – Creations: local women’s fashion (there is always a sale)

    – Creative Ventures Craft Mall (side lot): local stained glass artists and jewelry makers

    Parking: Finding parking at the Street Fair is difficult, but not impossible. There are numerous parking garages both downtown and near the UA that offer daily parking with rates from $5-$15, depending on metered time. Also, neighboring residential areas often open spaces to visitors, at varying prices. The bus is a cheaper means of getting to the fair, and there is a free bicycle valet as well. Walking, however, is highly encouraged.

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