Fremont Festival of the Arts

A few hundred thousand attendees, 650+ vendors, and artworks aplenty.

SUMMER STAPLE: Opinions might vary on this, but they'll probably all be in the same ballpark: Can you call a summer season officially and satisfactorily wrapped if you haven't strolled through a free art festival? You know what we mean. It can be a couple of booths and tables where artisans sell funky purses made from old pleather car seats or it can be an extravagant affair with pricey paintings. The main points, though, is a) the fest has to be outdoors and b) there has to be no charge to enter. We believe that the free-to-browse art fest Saturday is as much a part of summer as playing in a sprinkler or eating a rocket ice pop. (Hmm, two things we haven't done in several years -- note made.) And your chance to make good on this and dip into this hot-weather hallmark before summer flies is on the horizon. It's the huge Fremont Festival of the Arts, and we do mean "huge." We did say it is huge, right?

THIS IS HOW HUGE... Just shy of 400,000 people, give or take, show up over the Saturday and Sunday spectacular to shop, look, and generally soak in some pass-the-time, easy-strollin' vibes. It's called "the largest free street festival west of the Mississippi," and you'll see that in the 650 or so vendors. That wasn't supposed to be a "65," by the way. We meant 650, which means you could go on both Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4 and not fully take all of the art goodness in. Or the food goodness -- beer is sold and ice cream and so many more foodstuffs, foodstuffs that are perfect for a summery art stroll. So, are you ready to check this one off your summer to-do list? Even if you haven't gotten to the playing in a sprinkler and eating a rocket ice pop yet.

The Fremont Festival of the Arts turns 30 this year, making it a long-running and much-loved part of the regional art scene. The regional everything scene, actually. Good stuff. And huge. We said "huge," right?

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