Arts in the Heart sees estimated record turnout of 100K

Organizers are estimating that 100,000 people came out.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 12:52 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The 40th annual Arts in the Heart Festival came to an end on Sunday, and while the numbers are still coming in, the festival may have hit a record turnout.

In the world of arts festivals, this one is a pretty huge deal. Organizers estimate that 100,000 people came out over the weekend.

It was nothing but smiles and laughter as artists from across the country showcased their labor of love in downtown Augusta.

Variety is a spice of life, but at Arts in the Heart, it’s practically endless.

“It’s one of these festivals you do not want to miss,” Brook Pruitt with Rainbow Tie-Dye Factory said.

She hasn’t missed many since her first Arts in the Heart festival nearly 30 years ago.

“I’ve been doing tie dye here long enough that now the kids doing tie dye from when I was a kid are now bringing their kids out to do tie dye,” Pruitt said. “So, it’s a multi-generational event being part of the arts community in Augusta.”

She’s watched Arts in the Heart grow and is happy to be back.

“I think everybody is ready to start people-ing again and be together and part of a community,” Pruitt said.

A community that allows artists to get exposure and share what they love most.

For Laura Adams with Hats by Laura Michaels, festivals like this give her a chance to interact with people she sells her art to.

“The people are so nice, they want to talk,” Adams said. “They want to know about your product which is important to me.”

With each hat she sells, she wants to give people more than just something nice to look at.

“I don’t want them to go home with a hat they are not going to wear,” Adams said.

Prepping for a festival like this is not an overnight task, but the people make the time worth it.

“You’re constantly working 15, 16 hours a day and then you are here for the whole weekend,” Pruitt said. “It’s a labor of love.”

The festival also saw 19 international food booths and 130 fine arts and crafters.

It was pretty hard to miss since it takes up four blocks of downtown Augusta and typically brings in 90,000 to 95,000 people.

Organizers are scouting new locations as other projects are also coming to the area in years to come.