The popular Las Olas Art Fair is back after being canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival is set for Oct. 17-18, but with new rules to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Normally the festival is held three times a year — in January, March and October. Organizers decided there’s no reason the fall show can’t go on as long as new safety protocols are in place.
“This year we are following strict CDC guidelines,” said Erika Del Rio, executive director of Las Olas Association, the festival’s organizer. “Everyone has to wear a mask. It will be a different kind of show. Sidewalks will be roped off to control the number of patrons.”
Two years ago, more than 300 artists displayed their work along Las Olas Boulevard.
To keep things safe, the festival will play host to fewer artists this time.
“They will be 10 feet apart,” Del Rio said. “It’s going to be a very safe event for the public. And that’s our main priority. It’s for people to come and enjoy and feel safe.”
Still, at least one community activist is worried about it turning into a super spreader event.
“This is nuts. It usually brings in upwards of 30,000 people. I think it’s crazy,” said Stan Eichelbaum, head of the newly formed Fort Lauderdale Alliance for Good Government.
Eichelbaum still hopes the event gets canceled.
“We aren’t in the right situation yet,” he said. “People are not wearing masks or social distancing. This could become a spreader event.”
The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
These safety measures will be in place that weekend:
Attendees will be asked to wear a mask upon entering the art festival, with the exception of children ages 2 and under.
Entrances and exits will be monitored for one-way traffic.
Visitors should reserve a free time slot on Eventbrite.
Social distancing is required between artists and patrons, and patron groups.
Patrons are asked to stay home if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are awaiting test results or show any symptoms of the virus.
Guests are urged to use sanitizing stations and avoid casual touching.
Susannah Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4554 or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan
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