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49th Annual Octagon Art Festival set for September 22

The 49th Annual Octagon Art Festival is just around the corner! There will be plenty for art enthusiasts of all ages to experience in downtown Ames on Sunday, September 22 from 10 am – 4 pm. Approximately 95 juried artists from 7 states will fill the Main Street in downtown Ames with artistic creations. A wide variety of functional, wearable and decorative artwork will be available within any budget. Come experience the many wonders of art at the Octagon Art Festival and support artisans with your purchase of functional and beautiful art. The festival is the perfect place to get an early start on shopping for holiday gifts. For more information regarding the Octagon Art Festival including a festival map, live entertainment acts and list of participating artists, visit

New for the 2019 Octagon Art Festival is the Chalk the Block contest organized by the Ames Commission on the Arts. The contest is open to the general public to people of all ages. Chalk the Block will be located in the 400 block of Burnett Avenue, just north of Tom Evans Park in Downtown Ames, beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. Judging will be at 2 p.m. The contest includes three categories: Youth (ages 12 and younger), Teen (ages 13 to 17), and Adult (ages 18 and older). Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category.

Chalk will be provided to the first 25 people to register; everyone else will need to provide their own chalk. Soft pastels or any non-permanent medium that will wash away with the rain are other options to use. Contestants will have a 4-foot by 4-foot square space in which to create their chalk drawing. Register for the contest by emailing with the participant’s name, age group, address, phone number, and email address. Space is limited, so register as soon as possible. Same day registration may be possible if space is available.

A variety of free entertainment including live bands and performing arts will be presented throughout the day. Stop by the festival and enjoy entertainment from Orchesis I (contemporary dance), The Haunted Hallows (folk), Coffee Shop Romance (acoustic duo), Lawn Chair Fortress (alternative rock & funk), ISU Boomwacker Club, Miles Morgan (acoustic), Elizabeth Zimmerman (folk/rock), and World Port (world beat). Be ready for good music and high-energy at this year’s Octagon Art Festival!

A wide selection of cuisine and food trucks will be at the festival, so bring your appetite! Children’s art activities will be available in front of the Octagon Center for the Arts along the 400 block of Douglas for youngsters wanting to create their own works of art.

Special thanks to the festival sponsors and community supporters who make this event possible: Ames Commission on the Arts; Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau Community Grant Program; 3M; Ames Tribune; Cross Wealth Management; Danfoss; Duck Worth Wearing; First National Bank; Haila Architecture, Structure and Planning; Iowa Public Radio; Main Street Cultural District; Mediacom; NextHome Journey and Wilson Toyota.

The Octagon Art Festival is organized by the Octagon Center the Arts, a non-profit community art organization located in downtown Ames. The Octagon encourages interaction and creative self-expression by providing inclusive opportunities and spaces that bring people together through art. The Octagon has been a cornerstone of the cultural scene in Ames since 1966, and serves more than 30,000 people annually through education classes and outreach programs, rotating exhibits, retail gallery shop, and special events such as the annual Octagon Art Festival. Come experience the arts at the Octagon located at 427 Douglas Avenue in downtown Ames. For info on art classes and exhibits visit the website at

Octagon Art Festival
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Main Street, downtown Ames
10 am – 4 pm

Contact: Heather Johnson

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