Nearly 300 artists will take over downtown streets for the 57th Columbus Arts Festival this weekend.
The free event from Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10, is expected to draw 450,000 visitors.
Jami Goldstein, executive director of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, said the juried show is one of the best in the nation, with 270 artists from 34 states representing 15 forms of media, including painting, photography, leather, glass, jewelry and digital art.
"We are getting the best of the best," Goldstein said.
All artists will compete for prizes.
A highlight of this year's festival is a new downloadable app available on Android and iPhone platforms; it can be found by searching "Columbus Arts Festival Guide" on Google Play or the App Store. The app will allow patrons to check out menus from food vendors, artist locations and stage schedules, Goldstein said.
The event website, columbusartsfestival.org, also provides a set of links that will take patrons to the appropriate area, she said.
Attractions include live music from national acts.
Taking the Bicentennial Stage at 9 p.m. June 8 will be Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, a large group of touring vocalists and musicians who perform bluesy covers of pop songs.
At 9 p.m. June 9 on the Bicentennial Stage, G. Love & Special Sauce will present a funky, alternative brand of hip-hop.
The Greater Columbus Arts Council will continue its Emerging Artists Program at the event by allowing 10 local artists to have a shot at an exhibit. The only stipulations are the artists must be from Franklin County or a surrounding county and never have participated in another outdoor show.
"It's a way for an artist to dip their toe in doing this, if they want to go the festival way of life," Goldstein said.
A beer garden -- featuring brews from BrewDog, Columbus Brewing Co., Four String Brewing Co. and Seventh Son Brewing Co. -- will be on Washington Street between Town and Rich streets.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 8, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 9 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10. Artist booths will close at 9 p.m. June 8 and 9 but music, as well as food and beverage sales, will continue to 10:30 p.m.
Goldstein praised the festival's volunteers, saying as many as 500 people donate their time.
Patty Matthews, chairwoman of the artist market, which helps the artists to get acclimated with the festival and the city, said the effort is worth it.
"I've been doing it for so long that my goal now is to keep working with new volunteers," Matthews said. "We have a lot to accomplish. I think the payoff for the team is working with the artists."