Fountain Festival.jpg

More than four and a half decades after its inception, the Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts returns Friday, Nov. 8, and will run through Sunday, Nov. 10.

The venue is the Avenue of the Fountains and a portion of Saguaro Boulevard.

The inaugural festival in 1974 involved 60 artists and attracted about 4,000 to Fountain Park. After about five years competing with flooding issues, organizers decided to move the festival to higher ground, the Avenue of the Fountains.

Today, the event spotlights about 425 artists and crafters, of which approximately 20 percent are first-time exhibitors. Attendance can top 225,000 over the three days.

Artists from around the country display and sell paintings, sculptures, photography and distinctive crafts.

All applicants go through a jurying process where only the top artists in each category are accepted.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all three days. Admission and parking are free. Electric scooters can be rented. The Chamber of Commerce sponsors the festival and another in February as its main source of revenue.

Two food courts sell an array of tasty treats. One will be located at the intersection of Saguaro Boulevard and Avenue of the Fountains. The second area for food booths will extend along Verde River Drive to Paul Nordin Parkway.

The November show is a popular venue to begin holiday shopping for distinctive items.