One of the things I missed most during the pandemic was going to festivals. (Well, that, and going to concerts, sporting events, museums, restaurants, bookstores — anything that involved leaving the house!) The last festival we went to was the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas. It was in early March 2020. Had the festival been a week or two later, it likely would have been canceled.
Vandergriff Art Festival
This weekend is the Vandergriff Art Festival in Arlington. It began in 2012 as the Art on the Greene Festival and was held at Richard Greene Linear Park in the Entertainment District.
The 2020 version planned to have a new name and location but would continue in the spirit of the former. Last year was supposed to be the first year for this festival, but they had to cancel because of COVID-19. It looks like it’s on for this year — and if the weather plays nicely — the festival will likely draw a decent-sized crowd.
Festival founder Steve Moya says:
“I created Vandergriff Art Festival for the citizens of Arlington. This event is about community and support for the arts. It’s about being proud to have a first-class art festival in your hometown. It’s about knowing that artists from all across Texas and the United States choose to come to Arlington for this event.” (source)
The Vandergriff Art Festival will be held outdoors at Vandergriff Park in Arlington. The primary focus is art, although there will be food vendors, a beer and wine tent, and live music.
Visitors can view and purchase art in many forms:
- mixed media 2D
- mixed media 3D
Of the 75 artists expected, most will likely be local or regional, with some national ones, too. Expect to see both emerging and established artists.
There is no word on the food vendors yet, but local favorite J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill is a festival sponsor. I imagine they might have a food tent set up.
The live music lineup consists of mostly local tribute bands. There are ten bands scheduled to play throughout the weekend. I want to see Forever Mac (Fleetwood Mac tribute) and Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute.) Texas Flood is incredible and has a devout following in the area!
The festival runs Friday through Sunday. It’s exciting to see festivals return, and I hope to make it out there.
Vandergriff Art Festival
April 30 – May 2, 2021
2800 S. Center Street, Arlington
Free admission and free parking! Lawn chairs, blankets, and friendly dogs on a leash are welcome!
About Vandergriff Park
Named for the Vandergriff Family, it’s one of the largest parks in the city. Although not a founding family, they helped shape modern-day Arlington into what it is today. Mayor Vandergriff served the City of Arlington from 1951-1977. His list of accomplishments is impressive. His leadership helped bring the General Motors Assembly Plant, Six Flags, Lake Arlington, the Texas Rangers, and many more things to our city. From jobs to the local economy and entertainment to tourism, the city still feels his impact today.
Vandergriff Park is a sprawling site over 100 acres in size. The site includes Vandergriff Park, the Bob Duncan Center (for events), and connects with Marrow Bone Spring Park. Inside the area are baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a skatepark, walking/biking trails, pavilions, picnic areas, playgrounds, and some local history. It’s a diverse area.
While in the park, look for the Vandergriff “V” — it’s blue and 30 feet tall, so it shouldn’t be hard to miss. (It’s between the skatepark and swimming pool if you need a hint.) The giant V used to be at the Vandergriff Chevrolet car dealership, which was at the corner of Collins and Division Streets for 30 years.
Post and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 04-29-21