The Doylestown Arts Festival returns on September 10 and 11, and, dare we say, it’s shaping up to be even bigger and better than previous editions. (Which have drawn thousands of people.)
While artisanal crafts remain the core, the Doylestown Arts Festival has evolved into something much more diverse and entertaining than your typical street fair. Think live music being played on five separate stages simultaneously. The acts are a mix of local and traveling bands and solo musicians covering a range of genres.
If you’re a music geek, get a taste of what’s to come by listening to the Doylestown Arts Festival playlist on Spotify.
For the adrenaline junkies among us, there’s the Bucks County Classic, a criterium-style race where pro cyclists fly around a 1.4-mile route. That will unfold along the edges of the festival on Sept. 11. The 25-mile women’s pro race will start at 12:05 PM. The 50-mile men’s pro race will follow at 1:50 PM.
If you’ve never watched a pro bike race up close, you’ll be in awe of the speeds the riders reach and the chances they take trying to leap-frog each other and be the first to a sharp turn. And all you need to do is find a shady stretch of curb, then sit back and enjoy the breeze every few minutes when the peloton wooshes by.
Although, there will be opportunities to do much more than just watch. Prior to the pro women’s race, there will be a masters’ race (9:10 AM), an amateur women’s race (9:55 AM), and an amateur men’s race (10:40 AM), all of which are open to any licensed comers. You can register for any of the three races here. Keep in mind, the fields are limited.
Got a kid who loves to race their bike? In between the pro women and men’s races, there will also be sprint races for three- to 12-year-olds, which you can register for here. Everyone who races gets a medal. Participation is free, but, again, the field is limited.
There will be plenty of other interactive, kid-friendly activities and demonstrations going on around the festival all weekend, including the Kids Zone, an entire corner of the festival on Pine Street that will be dedicated to sparking their creativity. Not to mention easy access to ice cream and lemonade.
If shopping’s more your thing, you’ll find an intriguing mix of home goods, jewelry, pop art, and fine art, much of it by local artisans. At last count, more than 150 independent artisans were confirmed for this year’s festival.
Arts festivals tend to alienate everyone who isn’t an avid collector or super into handmade stuff. This isn’t one of them. Here, you’re more likely to leave with bags of stuff you didn’t know existed a couple hours earlier but couldn’t leave without.
Even if you don’t find anything of interest, you’re still in Doylestown, which has one of the most walkable downtowns in the Mid-Atlantic. Around every corner, there’s some combination of appetizing restaurant or café, stylish bar, trendy shop, and enviable architecture.
In other words, an already appetizing setting for a weekend afternoon is about to become downright mouthwatering.