ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor’s State Street Art Fair announced on Tuesday morning that it has reversed its decision to cancel the annual event.
The fair will take place July 15-17 -- down one day from the typically four-day event.
Executive director of the State Street District Frances Todoro-Hargreaves said plans have been in the works to bring back the event once Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that all outdoor capacity restrictions will be lifted on June 1.
“This had a lot to do with the governor’s announcement on Thursday,” said Todoro-Hargreaves. “She wasn’t even done speaking and my phone was blowing up. It was predominantly our businesses.”
Todoro-Hargreaves said the outdoor capacity limit was the event’s only restriction and the reason why all three fairs decided to cancel the event for the second year in a row on May 12.
“We were already trying to come up with a new event for that weekend,” she said. “As big as Art Fair is and as complicated as it is, it was easier for us to just fall back into that.”
Todoro-Hargreaves said that after a survey, 90% of the State Street fair’s artists said they were onboard for the July event. Some, she said, had declined because they had already made other plans. Those artists will be rolled into next year’s Art Fair, she said.
Although COVID rates in Michigan are dropping, safety is still a priority, said Todoro-Hargreaves.
“We are still going to have the booths distanced apart up to 10 feet, she said. “We’re still going to provide hand sanitizer in information areas. We are still encouraging people if they feel uncomfortable to wear a mask. Staff will encourage people to space out. We’re definitely going to be taking those precautions.”
With just six weeks to go before the biggest event of the summer, Todoro-Hargreaves said time is of the essence.
As for the other two fairs, the Summer Art Fair and the Street Art Fair, The Original, she said she is “very hopeful that there will be an announcement in the next few days.”