West Main Arts Festival in Arlington marks return of in-person art festivals

Stages are being set for this weekend's Arlington West Main Arts Festival.

Safety protocols will be in place as music acts and art vendors return for the largest outdoor event of its type to resume since the pandemic began.

Tschaner Azubuike creates the unimaginable with recycled paper.

Anthony Caddell Adams, a teenager, brings a canvas to life with paint.

While Oladipo Oyediran is all about the music. 

The artists, shuttered for the past year, are gearing up for their first in-person art festival in more than a year.

In downtown Arlington, preparations and excitement are easily found. The 2021 West Main Art Festival kicks off Saturday.

"All the tents will be 12-feet apart. It’ll look a little different than a typical festival, but we knew we had to do it for a local artist to get back in the game," said Mark Joekel, with Create Arlington.

Joekel started Create Arlington when, due to the pandemic, he lost his job managing performances for the Arlington Music Hall.

"Nobody got a two-months’ notice, or six-weeks’ notice, it was immediately. The end of an entire industry," he recalled.

Joekel secured private sponsors for the festival, which now has more than 75 musical acts.

Creating exposure for artists and vendors like Azubuike, Oyediran, Adams.

"It’s good to be back and to be able to still do it and not have too many things still shut down to where we can’t. So that’s the positive," Oyediran said.

"I was devastated. I’m a single mom and I’m also a homeschooling mom. This is my bread and butter so it was definitely a hard thing at first," Akubuike said.

"I’m really excited to be in it because it’ll be my first time, and I’m super young and so I’ll just be able to learn from it," Adams added.