The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Fair returns to downtown

Artists, art collectors, and fans of art all gathered in downtown Winter Park for the 64th annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

"We love to look at it. There's a lot of the clay, the oil paintings and stuff that are just are fascinated with," said visitor Stephen Congdon, visiting with his family from North Carolina.

Congden and his family were just some of the 300,000 people organizers said would show up for the art show, this weekend. More than a thousand artists applied to take part in the show, more than 200 were there selling their works. "It's not like normal flowers, it's all very colorful, bright, a lot of neon, a lot of fluorescents, so I sort of push the envelope," explained artist Marlene London.

There were also 32 artists selling their works there for the first-time, like Mimi Hwang. "Contemporary feeling, I work in acrylics, oil crayons, all sorts of multimedia as well, and I paint what I'm feeling," she said.

Artworks included all kinds of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture, jewelry, glassworks, and woodworking. Visitors also enjoyed live music and a children's art workshop. Organizer Jennifer Clark said they're happy the event has become a major draw for working artists. "They say that Winter Park, they find the best collectors here. Serious buyers in Orlando. They really enjoy this festival for that reason. There are a lot of people that love the art so they're excited."

The city's retailers, especially those along Park Avenue, said the big crowds also bring business. "We get a big boost through the weekend," said Scott Heisler, who owns the Orlando Watch Company, "we have our Oris Airstream here to show what we do inside the shop, so it's pretty darn good here, this weekend.