Tips for attending the Mt Dora Art Festival

coverThe 42nd Annual Art Festival is an amazing event. Nothing compares to this Arts Festival, that is nestled in the historic and charming downtown, Mount Dora!  If your coming into to town, here are Insider Tips to attending the event.

Meet the artist of this year’s poster, Chelsea Smith.

artist 2This is a juried fine arts festival for art lovers, casual festival-goers, and families. 

artist collageThe endless rows of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, clay, sculpture and photography, the festival features local and regional musical entertainment at a main stage in Donnelly Park will make for an amazing day.


At most events (no matter where it is) parking can be a frustration.  Here is my first suggestions, come EARLY if you desire to park close to the event area.  Mt. Dora’s side streets,  private residents, banks, & churches (within blocks of the event area) will go quickly. List of these parking areas – HERE!

slow-driverSave yourself the stress and frustration of driving around the congested & tight space streets- utilize the parking shuttles from Mt. Dora High School, Golden Triangle Shopping Center, and Mt. Dora Christian Academy .   For more information Art Festival sponsors have provided you with the needed information – HERE!

boatingFinally, consider boating into town.  There are two public docking areas – Gilbert Park and the docks at the Yacht Club at the end of 4th Street.

Best Time:

First thing in the morning.  The Festival opens in the morning at 10AM.  Get the ideal parking spot, enjoy breakfast at  One Flight Up – open at 8:30M Cody’s on 4th- open at 6:30AM, Breezeway Cafe,   Highland Cafe – open 6:30AM and Historic Donnelly House is 7Am-10AM. Then begin your day fresh and less crowded.

Or consider mid-afternoon, when people are thinking about lunch or already heading out. The Festival is open until 5PM.

Stay Hydrated

Even though it is “winter time”, remember you are in Florida and you need to stay hydrated throughout the day.  There are food vendors throughout the streets that sell beverages or bring your own.

Grabbing a Bite to Eat:

IMG_7236After strolling the streets, sitting down for a bite to eat is perfect. Downtown Mt. Dora has over 20 restaurant/cafes plus another 5 just around the corner.  During these events, most offer a “special event menu”.  The food selections are amazing, but is not their full menu.  This allows them to lower your wait time and provide an enjoyable sit down meal.  The listing of the Mt. Dora restaurant- HERE!

Family Fun:

kid paintingThis Arts Festival is Kid Friendly! The Mount Dora Center of the Arts keeps the children in mind when planning this event.  Check out the Kids Tent/Area on Sat. & Sun. from 10am – 5 pm (Free for All ages!) There is  Face Painting,  Balloon Maker,  Caricatures etc. CLICK HERE.

Take It All In:

artThe Art Festival has hundreds of artists and then there are the local boutiques and shops, so how do you take it all in?  After attending these events year after year, I came up with a pattern. I stroll and shop the Art Festival vendors. I get refreshed by enjoying a sit down lunch.

shopping collageRejuvenated, I explore the shops and boutiques.

Stick Around

IMG_2977To end the day, grab a glass of wine at Pisces Rising to watch the sunset.  It makes for the perfect day.

Final Note

No-Dogs-AllowedFinally, sorry no dogs are allowed in the Event Area.

light houseCome down and enjoy yourself in Mt. Dora.  There is always something happening in our small town – Check out our Local Calendar for all that happening.

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