A variety of activities await those planning to attend the four-day Ann Arbor Art Fair.
The celebration, which runs July 19-22, consists of four fairs in one event:
• The Original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (on East Washington Street, North University Avenue and Ingalls Mall).
• The State Street Art Fair.
• The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (at various downtown Ann Arbor sites).
• The South University Art Fair.
Hours for each of the fairs are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. from July 19-21 and noon-6 p.m. July 22.
Maureen Riley, executive director of the Original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, said about 1,000 artists will have their talents on display during the four-day art festival. Annually, the fairs receive around 400,000 visitors altogether.
Riley said this year visitors will notice a difference in how booths are numbered throughout the fairs. Officials have renumbered the entire fair this year so that booths mimic house numbers. Each booth will be identified with two letters that show what street it’s on and then they will have a number that will correspond with what block they’re on like a regular residence.
“It was really motivated by the ease of being able to identify where the booths were, both from a public standpoint and an emergency services standpoint,” Riley said. “It’s now consistent with house numbers.”
Art fair week kicks off with the Townie Street Party, from 5-9:30 p.m. July 16 on North University between Thayer and Fletcher streets, and on Ingalls Mall. The party will offer live music, food and beverages, interactive activities for families and a youth art fair showcasing 70 young artists, Riley said.
That same day, the Dart for Art — Ann Arbor Mile will take place, offering an all-inclusive, 1-mile race open to elite athletes, local runners, families, kids and other community members. Elite runners start at 6 p.m. and the community race begins at 6:30 p.m.
Free parking is available at Briarwood Mall, Pioneer High School and Huron High School. Visitors are encouraged to park their cars at these sites and use TheRide or Trinity shuttle buses. Round trips cost $3 for adults, and discounts are available for students, seniors and children.
Limited parking is available in downtown Ann Arbor structures and lots at $15 per day, $7 after 5 p.m.
To get around the Ann Arbor Art Fair, free, air-conditioned and wheelchair-accessible Art Fair Art-Go-Round shuttles will be available to visitors.
“The magical thing about the art fair that’s new every year is the art,” Riley said. “There’s always lots of new artists that you’ve never seen before and even the returning artists have new work.”