City prepares for 45th annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts

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By The Staff

Excitement is in the air once again as Cedar Key prepares to transform into an open air gallery of art on April 18th and 19th when the Chamber of Commerce presents the 45th annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts. Artists will line Historic Second Street from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. These fine artists and fine craftsmen will show off their paintings, jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography, and much more! Over $10,000 will be awarded to artists and their ribbons will be on display Sunday.

This annual event is an opportunity to showcase some of our region’s best artists, as well as artists traveling to Florida from across the U.S. This year’s show will feature returning artists, as well as many new to the show. Popular throughout our state, Mike Segal’s brightly colored painting entitled “July 4th Snoozer at Cedar Key” will serve as the festival’s commemorative 2009 piece. The original sketch for the piece was done during the official opening of Cedar Key’s new city park, on July 4, 2007. The children playing in the park that day wore so many bright colors, says Segal, it seemed as though they were deliberately staged for a painting. T-shirts of his art will be available. An original Mike Segal painting will be in silent auction until Sunday, April 19. The silent bid auction will close at 5pm Sunday.

Other special events include the Second Annual Levy County High School Art Competition. These young artist displays can be found on 2nd Street at the Cedar Key Arts Center on Saturday. For the 3rd year in a row, the United States Postal System will provide a specially designed Cedar Key postmark stamp that only will only be used Saturday and Sunday during festival weekend. Collectors- get your festival postcard and your festival postmark right at the information booth by City Hall! Children and the young at heart can decorate the street with sidewalk chalk between A and B Streets. Last year the street looked fantastic after being decorated with our special guest street artists of all ages and all walks of life.

In City Park, hosted by the Cedar Key Lions, you will find local music talents and delicious food and refreshments served by local non-profit organizations. Cedar Key clams, fish sandwiches, fresh squeezed lemonade, and grandma’s carrot cake- this is an event to which you should come hungry! Restaurants will also be having special musical guests and great specials for diners looking for a place to sit and relax for just a little bit longer.

Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, formerly known as the Sidewalk Arts Festival, has been reoccurring since 1964. Last year over 20,000 guests came for this event. Artists and guests alike are attracted to this small fishing village for the friendly atmosphere, calm pace, and the feeling of stepping back in another time. Whether you are looking for a special piece for your home, or wish to add to a personal art collection, you will enjoy spending the day strolling the charming streets of Cedar Key at this uniquely Old Florida event. This event is supported by Levy County Tourism Development Council, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Visit Florida, and the Cedar Key CRA. For more information, please call 352-543-5600 or visit www.CedarKeyArtsFestival.com.