The German Village Art Crawl is expanding this year, both in size and number of artists.

But officials are pulling back on the food offerings -- or at least how food is served -- because they said it has become a distraction.

"It became more about the food than the art," said Greg Gamier, co-chairman of the Art Crawl.

"We're trying to bring it back to what it was intended to be: an intimate arts festival," he said. "And, not having all those restaurants involved frees up a lot of space for more artists and art instead of standing in line for a sample of food."

That means the "passport" concept, where patrons had their tickets stamped by each food vendor, will be eliminated too.

Art Crawl, slated for July 21, draws up to 30 artists each year, representing a variety of media.

Tickets will go on sale in May.

It is always held on Macon Alley between Frankfort and East Whittier streets. Gamier said Art Crawl is expanding onto a side street, which should free up space for more artists.

He said it would be ideal to add 10 to 20 artists, but that is dependent on a number of factors; for example, the number of available garages, where the artists display their work.

One thing is for certain, the food lines got too long and created pedestrian-flow issues, which also eliminated a lot of available space, he said.

And having 12 or so restaurants participate on a Saturday night was a big commitment for those businesses, Gamier said.

"We were burdening a situation that's already burdened," he said. "Saturdays are rough and we were asking them for a lot on a Saturday night."

The solution likely is a food truck or two, he said.

The festival also has an earlier starting time, 4 p.m., and will conclude at 9 p.m.

Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society, said there will be other attractions, such as a stage and a VIP area.

Society officials said they believe the change will bring in more revenue.

The society has estimated there will be a 30-percent increase, bringing the total to $40,000 in net revenue, Todorov said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary