Saturday’s Art on Elm Avenue will feature more art on more of the avenue.

The arts-oriented street festival, in its fifth year, expands by two hours and two blocks to enable greater attendance without a corresponding crowded feeling, said Claire Sexton, Cultural Arts of Waco education coordinator.

“Each year the attendance rises about 1,000 people,” Sexton said. “Last year we had between 4,000 and 5,000, and this year easily should reach 5,000 during the day.”

About 40 artists will display their paintings, drawings, photographs and a few sculptures in the Brazos Events Center, 520 Elm Ave.

Down the street, at the Waco Weddings and Events building, a children’s art exhibit will show off pieces created by students at local schools such as La Vega Elementary School.

The art spills over in the street with vendors, a stage featuring local bands playing throughout the day, poetry performances, six food trucks and carts offering Mexican food, hot dogs, ribs, hamburgers, flavored teas, popsicles and more.

The poetry portion of the festival will take place in open mike events between 2 and 4:30 p.m. Members of the youth-oriented Brave Young Voices will present their poetry for the first hour with an all-community open mike event the remaining 90 minutes.

The festival’s casual vibe and generally pleasant spring weather makes it a destination for many young families, enough so that participating artists are gently advised to choose their pieces to exhibit with children in mind, Sexton said.

A Splash on the Color preview party, which serves as a fundraiser for the festival and Cultural Arts of Waco, launches the festival Friday night with an evening of appetizers, drinks and artists from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Brazos Event Center. Tickets are $15, available at the door or at


At a glance

What: Art on Elm Avenue

When, where: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the 500 to 900 blocks of Elm Avenue. A Splash on the Color preview party will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Brazos Event Center, 520 Elm Ave.

Admission: The festival is free. The Splash on the Color party is $15 and for people ages 21 and older.

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