Crowd-pleasing art fair turns 50 April 13-15 When the crowds gather on Atlantic Avenue this month for the annual Delray Affair, they’ll be helping to celebrate a very special golden anniversary. It’s been 50 years since the Delray Affair was launched by a group of community leaders hoping to revive the beauty and excitement of the city’s Gladioli Festival. “It was an exposition that attracted flower buyers from all over the country,” said Roy Simon, a Delray Beach native and former Chamber of Commerce member that has been a volunteer since it was the Gladioli Festival. He helped the festival evolve into what it is today. Due to development and a transition from flower farming to vegetable farming, The Delray Gladioli Festival died out and transitioned into the small Agricultural Expo. Simon envisioned more for the Expo and was inspired to add art by the Winter Park Art Festival. Wanting to improve upon the festi- val and increase profit for the community, Simon helped gather local community leaders for an organizational meeting. It was at this first meeting in 1962 that the committee and their chair, John Bordeman, chose “The Delray Affair” as the name of the festival that would now include arts and crafts in addition to agricultural goods. The affair was developed to extend the snowbird season by one week so that city merchants could make some more money during the slow season. Since then, the Delray Affair has blossomed into the most popular arts and crafts festival in Palm Beach County, growing from 24 exhibitors in 1962 to more than 700 exhibitors and 300,000 attendees today. It is held on the weekend after Easter in order to extend the tourist season and create an incentive for seasonal residents to stay a little longer. Admission is free. The festival is held on Atlantic Avenue, which becomes one big pedestrian mall, from the Delray Beach Tennis Center west of Swinton Avenue east to the Intracoastal waterway. Here are the details: DATES/TIMES Friday, April 13, 2012 (10 am – 6 pm) Saturday, April 14, 2012 (10 am – 6 pm) Sunday, April 15, 2012 (10 am – 5 pm) Friday, April 13th, 2012 Old School Square Stage (Music throughout the day starting at noon) 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Billy Bones 3rd Avenue Beer Booth 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Adam Fine Saturday, April 14th, 2012 Old School Square Stage (Music throughout the day starting at 11 am) 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Making Faces 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Steel Pony 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Taylor Road Street Tent 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Gin Blische and Andy Stein 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Tommy Winch 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Jason Colannino Sunday, April 15th, 2012 Old School Square Stage (music throughout the day starting at 11 am) 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Taylor Road 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Killbillies 3rd Avenue Beer Booth 11:00 am – 1:00 pm “Rick the Music Shaker” 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Kailin Garrity &Tommy Winch NEW THIS YEAR! • Old School Square Cultural Arts Museum will feature an exhibit on the history of the Delray Affair. Free admission during the festival. • Two covered beer gardens with live entertainment featured all weekend long in two locations: at the main stage pavilion at Old School Square and at 3rd Avenue and Atlantic PARKING $5 City Parking Garage West Atlantic Avenue; next to Courthouse, behind Library
$5 Old School Square Parking Garage NE 1st Street between NE 1st and 2nd Avenues $5 City Hall – NW 1st Avenue one block north of Atlantic Avenue Handicapped Parking: Available in garages and all public parking lots downtown NOTE: Friday through Sunday during the festival, all 2-hour parking limits are waived, except in designated valet or handicapped areas. Transporation from Tri-Rail Take the free Downtown Roundabout that runs between the Delray Beach Tri-Rail station (on Congress Ave.) and A1A.