Ever wonder what Florida art shows are worth the trip?
The 2017 rankings of the top 100 art festivals in the country are out and 26 Florida festivals made the cut. Placement was determined by compiling ballots submitted by professional artists who rated the festivals according to their own gross sales at the events. That's a valuable metric because top producing festivals for artists attract the country’s best talent.
The annual ranking is conducted by the national magazine, Sunshine Artist, which prides itself on being the leading publication for art show exhibitors, patrons and promoters.
Here are the 26 Florida art festivals that ranked among the Top 100 nationally: 1. LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival (Tallahassee) 2. Under the Oaks Fine Arts & Crafts Show (Vero Beach) 7. Mount Dora Arts Festival 15. Naples National Arts Festival 17. Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts 18. Coconut Grove Art Festival 21: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival (Fernadina Beach) 24. Cape Coral Festival of the Arts 27. Downtown Venice Art Classic 32. Ocala Arts Festival 39. Images: A Festival of the Arts (New Smyrna Beach) 40. Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (Tampa) 45. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival 50. Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Show 3 57. St. Armands Circle Art Festival (Sarasota) 58. Coconut Point New Year’s Art Festival (Estero) 64. Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts 65. Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Festival 66. Boca Fest, Boca Raton 71. Las Olas Art Fair, Part 1 (Ft. Lauderdale) 74. The Sanibel Masters Art Festival 82. Art Fest By the Sea (Jupiter) 95. Bonita Springs National Art Show 1 96. Downtown Art Festival (Gainesville) 97. Estero Fine Art Show 100. Boca Raton Fine Art Show
After a few months in its new downtown home, Mount Dora Village Market has come into its own. The Sunday market, located in Sunset Park in the city’s vibrant historic district, boasts Central Florida vendors that sell everything from homemade sweets, fresh veggies and seafood to tropical plants, natural bath products and handmade home decor. The vendors are ready for business from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mount Dora Buzz contributors had the enviable task of scouring the market to find the items you don’t’ want to miss. Here’s your shortcut to shopping the best of the market:
BEST OF THE MARKET OVERALL: Winner: Spicy Apple Jam byJovita Treats. We tried this savory jam on vanilla bean ice cream and no one could get enough. It would be delish on a grilled ham and brie sandwich or as a pork tenderloin glaze. It’s excellent to serve with brie, aged cheddar, chevre or cream cheese.
Vendor: THE Seafood
BEST SAVORY: Winner: Smoked Salmon by “THE Seafood” We tried this on crackers by itself and made smoked salmon spread by adding cream cheese, lemon and fresh dill. Either option is wonderful for an easy appetizer. Don’t miss: Smoked Garlic seasoning by Smoke Showin BBQ. The seasoning is all dehydrated garlic with some added smokiness. It was excellent added to our favorite grilling rub, as well as sprinkled on roasted veggies. This is a must for garlic lovers. Don’t miss: The roasted garlic and herb olive oil dip by Simply Savory We loved this with a crusty loaf of sourdough, but it was also excellent tossed in tortellini. Also try Lisa’s Ultimate Vinegars.
Vendor: Smoke Showin' BBQ
BEST SWEETS: Winner: Red White & Blue Jam by Jovita Treats This low-sugar, fresh local jam comes packed with the flavors of ripe strawberries and blueberries which are then accented with vanilla. We warmed it up and poured it over vanilla bean ice cream. After all, why spread it on toast when you have ice cream? Don’t miss: Smoked bacon bourbon syrup by Smoke Showin BBQ This is a must for anyone that loves bacon. Great on pancakes, but also very tasty when lightly drizzled on sauteed green beans and topped with blue cheese crumbles. For the more adventurous, pour a little over ice cream or cheesecake. Yum! More you won’t want to miss: Delicious and decadent cake truffles by Level Up Treats of Eustis, freshly made cannolis by Orlando Fresh Bread and the fruit custard spread by Melatta Spreads.
Vendor: John Plank Greenhouses
BEST PLANTS: Edible plants, by John Plank Greenhouses There was a big selection of edible plants like olive trees, coffee trees and various fruit trees, plus exotic tropical plants. All appeared very healthy.
Don’t miss: Orchids by the Orchid Man. Take your pick of healthy phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids with or without decorative pots. Plus, the Orchid Man will answer all your orchid-growing questions.
Vendor: Darjees Tea
BEST BEVERAGE: Winner: Blackberry Tea by DarJees Tea Box Of the many delicious offerings of fresh black tea, we chose the blackberry to make iced tea. Surprisingly, two regular-sized tea bags make a whole pitcher, and everyone loved it. Don’t miss: The fresh-squeezed lemonade booth to cool off on a steamy day.
Vendor: Barse Bath Co.
BEST BATH & BODY: Winner: Eucalyptus & mint dead sea salt glow by Barnse Bath Co. The scent is so relaxing and makes a morning shower feel like you were at the spa. Don’t miss: Fragrant handmade soaps by Iyakere.
Vendor: Sawdust to Stitches
BEST HOME GOODS: Winner: Handmade wood signs and decor by Sawdust to Stitches. We found their cheerful signs to be thoughtful hostess gifts. Don’t miss: Watercolor greeting cards by Briana at Bubble Gum Colors and the stain removing bar by Tangie.
Shoppers are welcome to bring canned food donations for Lake Care Food Pantry to the market’s donation bin. The market is open every Sunday at Sunset Park except during certain downtown festivals and events.