QUINCY -- Three days of food, music and art will be on tap in downtown Quincy this weekend when Q-Fest returns.
"This is one of the main art events that we have every year. We reach people who don't normally come to the Art Center or do activities during the year," said Q-Fest Coordinator Amanda Brown.
Kelsey Deters, assistant director for the District, said an estimated 5,000 to 7,500 people came through Washington Park during Q-Fest last year. And long-range weather forecasts call for picture-perfect conditions.
Q-Fest will start with Blues in the District on Friday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Amanda Fish will perform and this is the one Blues in the District concert with on-site sale of alcohol.
Food vendors will start showing up along Maine Street to the south of Washington Park, and many will be on hand for a few days.
Saturday morning the Farmers Market will be held along Hampshire just north of Washington Park. Within the park there will be 55 vendors selling "fresh art" and a number of free family art activities.
"We'll have music going on at the gazebo on Saturday and Sunday, too," Deters said.
Saturday night the street concert will begin at 6 p.m. with the Gentlemen playing. At 8:30 the KC Slo band will take over. Entry will be $5 each and there will be food and drinks available in the concert area.
This is the third year for Q-Fest, presented by the Quincy Art Center and the District. Previously it was known as Midsummer Arts Faire.
The event has a significant economic impact.
"Quincy becomes a destination for the weekend and, along with a lot of local folks who love arts and music, we get tons of people visiting downtown," Deters said.
Vendors, musicians and other visitors add to hotel reservations for the weekend. Several downtown businesses also see additional shoppers on Saturday.
Brown said Q-Fest, which helps raise money to support the Quincy Art Center, also has gotten national notice.
"I know we've been in Arts Midwest magazine a couple of times. Events like this have solidified the fact that Quincy is one of the artsy towns," Brown said.