Western Gateway Park welcomes return of the Des Moines Art Festival this weekend


DES MOINES, Iowa — The Western Gateway Park welcomes back the Des Moines Art Festival this weekend.

Executive Director of the festival, Stephen King, said not much will look different this year for attendees, other than booths being more spaced out and they are asking people to wear masks in highly populated areas.

King said like many other organizations, they were devastated last year when they had to cancel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially due to the financial impact the event had on the state. 

Every few years, an economic study is done on the Des Moines Arts Festival. In 2019,  it brought in more than $80 million to the community.

This weekend’s festival will feature 154 artists with eight emerging artists and 23 nonprofits..

From Friday to Sunday, attendees at the Des Moines Art Festival will be able to enjoy live music, interactive art activities, and the InterroBang Film Festival that will be located inside of the Des Moines Public Library. 

King said organizers were very intentional in planning this comeback event. 

“Every single decision we make all the activities that you see everything that we bring to the festival is about building community, what can we do to help empower our community to be a better community, and to bring people together and just enjoy arts and culture in a beautiful setting,” King said. 

Road closures are already underway around Western Gateway Park, including  Grand Avenue from 11th to 16th streets. Closures will last through Monday morning. 

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