Longtime Tampa Bay residents and newcomers alike have even more to look forward to this spring along the sparkling waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Mainsail Art Festival will return to Vinoy Park on April 16-17.
Now in its 47th year, the festival features fine art, children’s entertainment and activities, live music and food vendors.
Aside from its name, its posters, and the boats that will surely cruise around Tampa Bay along Vinoy Park, the festival has nothing to do with sailing. According to the festival’s website, the original name was shortened to Mainsail in 1977 “to convey the importance of the event, its excitement and the setting of the marina”, which at the time was South Straub Park.
The festival is ranked at No. 14 in sun artist the magazine’s top 200 festivals in the fine arts and design category. The magazine is a national guide to art exhibitions and festivals. Due to the effect of the pandemic on festivals, the magazine has compiled the ranking, which is determined by revenue, based on the past decade.
A total of $60,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at the juried exhibition. The festival usually attracts over 100,000 visitors over the weekend.
The Mainsail Art Festival is free, with no ticket required. The event will be cashless this year.