First Sunday Arts Festivals
In 2001 the seed was planted after two art receptions at ARTFX gallery & 49 West on West Street held at the same time started to spill into the sidewalks between the two on the first Sunday evening of each month. In 2002 other businesses on the first block on West Street joined in and the event start filling the sidewalks of West street and went from an evening event into an all day event known as First Sunday Arts Festival.
In 2003 West Street was closed in front of the two businesses for some much needed public works improvements. During this time of no car access, the event moved into the street. By the time the West street construction was finished the event was so large it required the street to be closed on all First Sundays from May to October.
In 2008 the event was maxed out and no room was left for new vendors on the first block of West Street that wanted to showcase their arts and crafts to the thousands now attending. We also wanted an area that could host larger groups for performances, dancing, etc, so we added Whitmore Park on Calvert Street to the festival.
In 2009 the area under the trees on the corner of West and Calvert Streets, across from City Gate Lane was added to the festival to give a little bit more room and fill in the gap between the two larger festival areas.
In 2011 we started the November Holiday Art Sale at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts to give artists and crafters another outlet to sell their works on the first Sunday of November.
In 2014 we moved the November First Sunday Arts Holiday Market to West Street adding another month to this popular Festival.
In 2015 the festival continued to grow adding the month of December to the line up and giving it a special family friendly theme the "Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival."
Keeping the momentum going in 2016 we went further into the Annapolis Arts District by expanding the festival down West Street, adding the blocks between Calvert and Lafayette Streets. The festival now features about 130 vendors each month.
We look forward to continuing to evolve and seeing you at the next First Sunday Arts Festivals.