MAIN ST. Arts Festival takes over 18 city blocks. (Photo by Geno Loro)
The Japanese Festival transports visitors every spring and fall.
Art in the Square takes over Southlake Town Square. (Photo by Mike Lewis Photography)
With a dreary stretch of winter behind us, Fort Worth’s spring festival season leaps into action later this month. Whether it’s art, music or cultural experiences you seek, there is definitely a Fort Worth spring festival for you.
Here’s your guide to the festival fun in Cowtown:
MAIN ST. Arts Festival
Kicking it off, the 36th-annual MAIN ST. Arts Festival takes over downtown Fort Worth from Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 23. This yearly tradition has grown into the third-largest arts festival in the United States.
Visitors to the festival will find a diverse range of artwork, including sculpture, painting, photography, wood, glass, jewelry, metalwork, printmaking, mixed media and more.
It spreads across more than 18 square blocks and showcases 215 jury-selected visual artists. The jury carefully sifted through almost 1,000 applicants and handpicked the exceptional featured artists. An estimated $4 million of art is expected to be sold during the festival.
Among the artists appearing are last year’s Best of Show-winner Karen Libecap (painting), Best Emerging Artist Jeribai Andrew-jaja (drawing), and Merit Award-winners Richard Wilson (drawing), Adam Crowell (wood), James Pearce (wood), Kina Crow (mixed media), Steven and Beth Radtke (mixed media), Marge Margulies (ceramics), and Robin Lauersdorf (drawing). Nearly 30 artists hailing from Tarrant County were also selected to exhibit at MAIN ST. 2023, including Anne Cubbage, Christopher Curtis, Thomas Diel, Sarah Murphy, Ralinda Owens, Pamela Summers and Tyler Wagner.
But the art is only the beginning.
MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is fun for the whole family. There are hands-on activities hosted at the TCC Makers Zone and live music on four different stages, including tunes from Fort Worth favorite Poo Live Crew.
You can nosh on plenty of local foods, like Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, craft beers and wine tastings too.
As always, it’s free to attend.
The Spring Japanese Festival
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and the Fort Worth Japanese Society invite visitors to celebrate spring in the Japanese Garden while exploring the arts and culture of Japan. The Spring Japanese Festival takes center stage on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23.
One of Fort Worth’s hidden gems, the Botanic Garden was designed by Albert Komatsu and Associates (later Komatsu Architecture) in 1973. Plantings were donated by Fort Worth’s sister city of Nagaoka, Japan.
The Japanese Festival makes for a leisurely stroll through the shady garden filled with koi ponds, Japanese maples, rock gardens and tea houses. The Fort Worth Bonsai Society also displays its collection of iconic trees.
Performances during the festival include Taiko drumming groups, traditional dances, karate experts and Master Swordsman G.K. Sugai. Connoisseurs of their craft demonstrate origami, calligraphy and Japanese games. Visitors can also experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony for an additional fee.
A variety of vendors sell a wide range of goods, from origami jewelry to anime plush figures and crafts made with vintage kimonos.
Food trucks provide regional cuisine on-site. Authentic Japanese food is also prepared by Fort Worth Japanese Society members.
Art In The Square
Need a break from the Fort Worth city life? Get out of town to Southlake, which curates its own art festival. Southlake Town Square, the city’s open-air lifestyle shopping district with more than 120 shops and dozens of fine restaurants, presents Art In The Square from Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30.
In addition to the array of visual artists showcasing at the festival, Art in the Square features a tremendous lineup of musicians and performing artists on two stages.
A variety of local food trucks and concessions are also available throughout the weekend.
If you’ve got kids in your crew, there is a youth art exhibit and a Kid’s Corner with hands-on arts and crafts. For the wilder ones, Youth Zone gets the wiggles out with activities like mini golf and a rock climbing wall.