As many of you know I live very close to the heart of the Paseo Arts district, comprised of a few blocks of art galleries, upscale restaurants, and brightly colored Spanish-inspired architecture. On a normal day, the shops, galleries, and restaurants lining the main thoroughfare keep a slow, but steady flow of customers.
However, on the first Friday of every month, Paseo hosts
“First Friday Gallery Walk,” where the local artists open their gallery doors to the public: an event that draws a bit of a crowd to the area. These events have become increasingly popular in the community, due in part to recent recognition for the area; including being named as one of the ten great neighborhoods by the American Association.
The Paseo Arts District began renovating and restoring its buildings to their former glory in 1970, and the first Paseo Arts Festival took place in 1977. Since then, the Paseo Arts Festival has grown to one of the most popular local Memorial Day weekend events, with nearly 60,000 guests over the course of the weekend. The outlining streets and main thoroughfare fill with local art, culinary creations, crafts, and live music. In addition, all the local galleries open their doors; some even doing demonstrations for the public. There is even a section for the kids with crafts, balloon art, and the most fantastic face painting you have ever seen. There is art for every taste and price point. It took my husband and me nearly two hours to see all of the galleries and booths, but we could have easily spent another two hours listing to the wide variety of musicians and live music. There are food vendors, a few small cafés (Picasso Café & Sauced), and an upscale restaurant (Paseo Grill-See Previous Post).
My Recommendation: Go, and take your whole family. Wear sunscreen, and bring something to drink (vendor food prices are similar to the Oklahoma State Fair food prices, and can get expensive). It is free admission to the festival, but be careful where you park (many places are trying to charge). Edgemere Park is walking distance and you can park along many of the streets for free. The Festival is Saturday, May 28th through Monday, May 30th. (Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 10am-8pm, and Monday 10am-6pm).
Overall Rating: 10