Downtown Iowa City will be painted red — and pink and blue and all the other colors of the rainbow — this weekend. And it won’t just be painted, either. There will be expressions of all forms by artists who work in all mediums.
The annual Iowa Arts Festival gets under way Friday night. Culinary Row opens at 4 p.m. Music on the main stage starts with Texas troubadour Joe Ely at 9 p.m. Friday.
You’ll see art on every corner Saturday and Sunday during the annual celebration of the arts, which draws 30,000 to 35,000 people to downtown Iowa City for a long weekend of music, a juried arts fair, kids’ activities, a Global Village and a world of food on Culinary Row.
“Of all of our festivals, this is the one that has something for everyone, no matter what your taste. It’s more diverse,” says Lisa Barnes, 50, of Iowa City. She’s executive director of Iowa City’s Summer of the Arts, which oversees the festival in addition to other outdoor concerts, movies and sand sculpting events downtown, stretching from late May through early September.
She says it’s not unusual to have 10,000 people flock to Friday and Saturday night headliner concerts, featuring nationally known bands.
Another Texan, Alejandro Escovedo, will close out the main stage Saturday night at 9 p.m. The shows go on rain or shine.
- What: Iowa Arts Festival
- Where: Downtown Iowa City, Iowa Avenue to College Street
- When: Friday to Sunday
- Hours: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
- Admission: Free
- Features: Local, regional and national musicians; juried Art Fair
- on Saturday and Sunday; kids’ activities; Culinary Row
- Headliners: Friday: Crooked Still, 7 p.m., Joe Ely, 9 p.m.; Saturday: Teddy Thompson, 5 p.m., Bottle Rockets, 7 p.m., Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys, 9 p.m.
- Details: www.summerofthearts.org