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No. 20 Artsfest, First Friday Artwalk, Cider Days launch

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The 1980s was the decade of MTV, hard rock and heavy metal and Pacman.

Locally, it also was the decade Artsfest was launched, leading the way for the fostering and promotion of art in Springfield.

The first Artsfest, put on by the Springfield Regional Arts Council, took place in Phelps Grove Park in 1980.

The festival was moved to Walnut Street in 1990 and is one of the Council’s largest fundraisers, attracting about 20,000 to 30,000 people annually.

This year’s Artsfest, managed by the Urban Districts Alliance, marked its 30th anniversary and featured more than 140 artists from across the country where attendees could buy original art, listen to music
and sample food from local restaurants.

Another local event fostering the arts in Springfield is the First Friday Artwalk, which began in 2001.

Another program of the SRAC, First Friday Artwalk is a monthly event that also features art, food and music in downtown Springfield. First Friday helps promote the Downtown Arts District.

Vintage cars and scarecrows are part of the draw for another yearly arts festival. Cider Days, a two-day fall festival that began in 1997, features regional artists and crafters as well as musical performances, dance and comedian acts and local food and produce on Walnut Street.

Cider Days, managed by the Urban Districts Alliance, attracts roughly 15,000 visitors a year.

See the full list of pivotal points chosen by the Springfield Business Journal here.
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