Downtown Springfield Association
Event poster for 40th Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street
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40th Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street set for May 1 & 2

March 19, 2021

For the first time since 2019, Artsfest, presented by Great Southern Bank, is returning to Historic Walnut Street in Downtown Springfield!

The Springfield Regional Arts Council and Downtown Springfield Association announced Friday morning that plans are moving forward to host southwest Missouri’s largest outdoor arts festival May 1-2. The festival will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per person, with children ages 5 and under admitted for free. Tickets for all patrons, including children, should be purchased in advance.

“The SRAC and DSA have spent months diving deep into the needs of our artists, as well as various ways to safely host Artsfest. This was not a decision we made lightly,” Leslie Forrester, Executive Director of the Springfield Regional Arts Council, said. “We are grateful for the guidance from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the City of Springfield. We are so excited to help kick-off this season of recovery that our arts economy desperately needs.”

The safety and security of all artists, vendors, patrons and volunteers remain the highest priority for DSA and SRAC staff. With that in mind, Artsfest will have several protocols in place.

  • Temperature checks for everyone entering Artsfest
  • Masking and physical distancing will be required at the outdoor event
  • Capacity on the festival footprint will be limited to 2,500 guests per timed entry
  • Distance between vendor booths will be a minimum of 6 feet
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the festival
  • Seating for food vendor areas and stages will be placed 6 feet apart
  • Volunteers will be dedicated to festival cleaning and hygiene

The Artsfest team has been in communication with the City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department as it develops these mitigation plans.

The biggest change will be to ticketing procedures. Tickets will be sold in two-hour flights, ensuring Artsfest is never over capacity. Artsfest patrons are encouraged to buy tickets in advance to ensure entry at their preferred day and time. This will allow for better contact tracing, and fewer cash transactions will minimize contact between guests and volunteers.

Behind the scenes, the DSA and SRAC will be providing extra staff and volunteer training on all mitigation efforts. Vendors will submit their own safety protocols and provide their own cleaning supplies.

“We are excited to have this iconic community event returning to historic Walnut Street,” Rusty Worley, DSA Executive Director, said. “It’s been a long year for all of us. As the data continues to improve and the city prepares to fully reopen, we’re proud to provide a safe, fun, family-friendly community event. This year’s Artsfest gives all of us the opportunity to support talented artists and small business owners as they, too, emerge from a difficult year.”

Great Southern Bank is once again the presenting sponsor for Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street. Other sponsors making this event possible include DeLong Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, Heart of America, Kum & Go, Renewal by Andersen and SS&B Heating and Cooling. More sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit and follow Artsfest on Facebook and Instagram.