Spring Arts Festival

James Floyd, a guitar luthier from Pensacola, Florida, plays a guitar Sunday that he handcrafted from the jaws of a nine-foot shark. Floyd exhibited his collection of unique handmade guitars at the 50th Annual Spring Arts Festival put on by Santa Fe College. The two-day festival had live music, food, paintings, sculptures and many other forms of art.

COVID-19 has put a screeching halt to yet another annually scheduled event.

Santa Fe College announced Tuesday that the 2021 Spring Arts Festival has been canceled due to health concerns regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year’s Spring Arts Festival was canceled back in March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Santa Fe announced that its Spring 2020 classes would be moved online March 13, one day after Alachua County’s second COVID-19 case was recorded.

This cancellation marks the second year in a row that festival-goers will stay home.

Santa Fe college officials came to this decision after weighing the safety of artists and attendees, who would normally peruse the attractions of the festival within its six-block radius. 

It was not easy for Santa Fe administrators to arrive at the decision to cancel the festival, Santa Fe Cultural Programs Coordinator Edward Shaw wrote in an email.

“We are confident that our artists, as well as our campus family and the entire community, will appreciate that our health, safety and well-being supersede the benefits that the Festival may bring,” Shaw said.

The weekend-long event had been scheduled for April 10-11.

In past years, the Spring Arts Festival has attracted more than 200 artists and 100,000 guests throughout the two-day event, according to a Santa Fe press release. 

Santa Fe has not made any announcement regarding when the next Spring Arts Festival may take place or what form it will take.

“Everyone in this business is recalibrating at this point,” Shaw said. “The safety of our constituents is our primary concern; and if virtual exposition becomes the way to go for the succeeding years, we will likely adapt.”

Before its cancellation in March, the festival was set to take place in the historic downtown area of Gainesville on Northeast First Street between Northeast Eight Avenue and Northeast University Avenue. This is a location that has been used for many years by the festival, Shaw said.

Contact Jack at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jack_prator.

Staff Writer

Jack is a sophomore at UF studying Journalism. If he is not snorkeling or sitting under a tree outdoors he is likely snorkeling or sitting under a tree in Animal Crossing.