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Slimmed-down Mount Dora Arts Festival includes coronavirus precautions


A scaled-down version of the Mount Dora Arts Festival is on for this weekend.

The Mount Dora Center for the Arts worked with the city and surveyed artists on COVID-19 precautions they need to take.

The festival has drawn art-lovers to downtown Mount Dora since 1975.

This year, it will be half the size and have only 129 artists. It will still have food trucks and entertainment.

Tents will be farther apart, there will be hand-sanitizer stations, and everyone is required to practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Eustis printmaker Jenny Harper, whose work titled "Nine Planks" is this year's poster, thinks the festival-goers won't be confrontational.

"You want to put out your best work and hope that people behave themselves and appreciate that the artists are taking a chance," she said. "But you don't want them to be taking too much of a chance. You know, you've tried to do everything you can to be safe."

MDCA marketing director Kay Volmar says many art festivals have been canceled during the pandemic or took place online.

"Part of our decision had to do with supporting the artists and giving them a place to show their work, because a lot of them have not been able to this year," she said.

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Volunteers will help enforce mask-wearing at the outdoor event.

It is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit mountdoraartsfestival.org to learn more.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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