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It's art fair time in Ann Arbor. This year's art fair takeover of downtown Ann Arbor runs from Wednesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 18. Here are 5 things to know before you go — including hours, a map, parking and other tips.

 

1. It’s the Ann Arbor Art Fairs

There are actually 4 fairs combined in one massive event:

• The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original 
• The State Street Area Art Fair
• The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair
• Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair

Hours are Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. You can trolley-hop between the fairs on the A2 Art Trolleys for $1 between 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Find a map you can donwload here.

2. Park and ride
Really, park and ride. You can park downtown ($12/day in downtown structures), but if you value your sanity, trust us, you want to park and ride. Streets are closed off. There are 500,000 of your best friends joining you in Ann Arbor. It’s busy and parking will be scarce.
Luckily to park and shuttle in, there are several options (find them at www.TheAnnArborArtFair.com). Options include shuttles from Pioneer High School and Briarwood Mall, where the parking is free, the shuttle is just $3 roundtrip per person. Details here.

3. Come hungry.
Ann Arbor is a dining destination, and many people see the Art Fair as a great chance to explore the city. This is true, but know that the cute place you’ve wanted to try downtown will be busy. Try going off the beaten path, heading north to Kerrytown, or trying a high end restaurant that draws less foot traffic.
Or, one could eat fair food. There will be fresh lemonade, elephant ears, kettle corn, and a variety of foods-on-a-stick. It’s a fair, after all, so just embrace it and go for the fair stuff.

The fair food courts are located at:
Ingalls Mall
Liberty Street (west of Main Street)
Michigan Union

4. You can find a needle in the haystack.
Four fairs in one means there is a ton of art to explore. It also means you can spend an entire day trying to find a particular vendor, if not prepared. If you know who you want to see, locate them ahead of time by downloading the art fair guide here. There is also a free Art Fair app for your iPhone that can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes store or Google Play. It includes an interactive map of the fair with artist listings and images of their work, parking, food, music stages, and more. 

5. Need a break?
Duck into one of the great Ann Arbor museums, like the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum, or the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. They are all air-conditioned, have great exhibits and activities, and make a visit to Ann Arbor complete.

 

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