Art festival shines in the sparkling backdrop of this lakeside downtown
|The Annual Mount Dora Art Festival is held each February in downtown Mount Dora, Fla. The 2012 festival is Feb. 4-5. For more information, call the Mount Dora Center for the Arts at (352) 383-0880 or log on to www.mountdoracenterforthearts.org.
For art lovers, casual festival-goers and families, nothing compares to the Mount Dora Art Festival.
Scheduled for Feb. 4-5, 2012, the 37th Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival is one of the one of the largest in the state with about 285 artists from all over the world.
Kicking off the festival season in Florida, more than 300,000 visitors and potential buyers attend the two-day event, which is ranked in Sunshine Artist’s Top 100 Festivals. While the fine art draws thousands to the quaint downtown, tourists journey to the festival to witness the striking beauty of the downtown itself.
With its downtown streets lined with New England architectural, this hilly destination overlooks the breathtaking view of Lake Dora. Besides some fine dining opportunities and unique boutiques for shopping, downtown Mount Dora features vintage train rides, sunset cruises and horse-drawn carriage rides.
With more than a dozen special events downtown each year, the Art Festival is the crown jewel. Other than the endless rows of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, clay, sculpture and photography, the festival features local and regional musical entertainment at a main stage in Donnelly Park. The children’s tent is also a special place for families.
The event began when a group of art-loving friends decided to hold an arts festival in their small Lake County town. Through hard work and dedication, the first Mount Dora Arts Festival was held in 1975. Each year, a portion of the funds raised by the event were saved in the hopes of eventually having enough to begin an art center.
In 1985, the dream was realized when the Mount Dora Art Center was opened at 138 E. Fifth Ave. in downtown Mount Dora. The Center changes exhibits every six to seven weeks and offers educational music, dance and art classes for adults and children.