It has been an unusual spring and summer with most events canceled or switching to a virtual online experience. First Sunday Arts Festivals were forced to switch to a virtual experience this spring due to COVID-19. For July the event is starting to transition by offering both a virtual festival for those that are safer at home and a reformated in-person art market for those ready to shop local artists in person.
On Sunday, July 5th from 11am to 5pm the First Sunday Arts will return to the first block of West Street with about 55 artists. The artists will offer a wide range of arts and crafts for sale and their booths will be social distanced. We are asking everyone to wear a mask when inside a vendor’s tent shopping and to limit one household inside a tent at a time for social distancing. Most restaurants in the area are also offering both outdoor and indoor dining at socially distanced tables (masks required indoors).
The goal of the day is to offer an outdoor shopping experience to support our local artists. Artisans have been hard hit economically with all of their events canceled. Artists being self-employed were also the last group to receive any government assistance from the shutdowns. “We have been working hard to identify artists’ grants, loans, and offer online sales on our website this year. We are happy to be one of the first arts festivals to restart to support our local artists,” says Erik Evans, Executive Director for the Inner West Street Association and the Annapolis Arts District.
This week after receiving word from the City that the First Sunday Arts could restart the artisans were surveyed to find out how many felt safe to resume selling at an outdoor market environment, verify that they had no recent illness symptoms and are not a caregiver to someone that has a compromised immune system. With over 50 artists ready to restart in-person sales the festival is resuming immediately. The festival plans to continue the outdoor art markets this year on the first Sundays following local government safety recommendations.
For those not ready or able to attend First Sunday Arts this Sunday, you can also shop the festival online from over 200 of our artists that have attended the festival in the past year from your home at the Virtual First Sunday Arts Festival. To shop our artists online visit https://www.firstsundayarts.com/virtualfestival
For those attending the First Sunday Arts event on Sunday, you can park for free all day at the Calvert Street Garage (19 St. Johns Street) and at the John Whitmore Garage 25 Clay Street from 6am to 4pm.
It is recommended in addition to wearing a mask and social distancing, that you bring a travel-size hand sanitizer to make washing your hands more convenient.
After the festival stay for dinner as West Street will convert the street from 6:30pm to 10pm for a Dinner under the stars dining and live music event. Dinner Under the Stars was originally a Wednesday only summer event that has been extended to 5 days a week (Wednesday to Sunday) this summer to provide additional outdoor dining space.