This weekend, the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 53rd year of the Delray Affair, nicknamed the “Greatest Show Under the Sun” and known as one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the southeastern United States.
The block party will take over 12 blocks from the Intracoastal Waterway to the city's tennis stadium from Friday at 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Sunday.
Not many people know the Delray Affair began as the Delray Gladioli Festival in 1947, originally organized as a way for local farmers to display and sell their plants. Officially dubbed the Delray Affair in 1962, today it's become a way for artists to sell their handcrafted goods to thousands of customers.
The event will take place April 10 through 12 along the palm-tree-lined streets of downtown Delray Beach, stretching 12 city blocks from the Intracoastal to NW Second Avenue at the grounds of Delray Beach Center for the Arts and Old School Square Park. (Which means, yes, the Delray Green Market will be closed this weekend, but it will be back April 18.)
Since its inception, the Delray Affair has received numerous awards for its mixture of fine art, artisan crafts, and funky vibe. Last year, artists and crafters from 30 states and 12 countries exhibited at the 2014 Delray Affair.
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This year's event will feature more than 800 vendors selling everything from handmade arts and crafts and fine art to food, drink, and live entertainment. Festivalgoers will have plenty of restaurants to visit, as well as two beer gardens, one located at Seventh and Atlantic avenues and the other at the outdoor amphitheater for the Delray Beach Center for the Arts.
New to the festival this year is the use of a new and improved enhanced mobile application that offers yearlong functionality and integrates the community with Delray Affair vendors, sponsors, and advertisers. The app will allow users to search for vendors by category or exhibitor name. Visitors can also use the app's color-coded map to chart GPS-routed directions to each vendor. The app is available on iPhone and Android smartphones; search "delrayaffair" to download.
The Delray Affair will take place April 10 through 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit delrayaffair.com.