Octagon Art Festival returns to downtown Ames


The Octagon Art Festival has been in Ames for 50 years. 

Ella Hawkins

Downtown Ames will host the 50th annual Octagon Art Festival on Sunday. After many cancellations in 2020, artists are excited to showcase their work for the community.

The Octagon Art Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside on Main Street, regardless of weather conditions. Admission for the event is free.

There will be around 100 artist booths, including paintings, ceramics, drawing, jewelry, photography and other mixed media.

Heather Johnson, the director at the Octagon Center for the Arts, spoke about what she was most excited for this weekend. 

“This year it’s going to be great to support artists again, especially after all the cancellations last year,” Johnson said. “[Artists] really took a huge hit as many of them rely on events to make a living to sell their creations.”

In addition to live music, food trucks and activities, the Octagon Center for the Arts is partnering with the Ames Public Art Commission to sponsor the Chalk the Block Contest, where participants will compete by decorating their own space with sidewalk chalk for judging.

The Octagon Center for the Arts provides a space for people in and around Ames to come together and appreciate art. They offer a variety of art classes for all ages and skill levels, a gallery shop featuring around 175 local artists’ pieces and a Community Gallery available to the public. 

Festival leaders are still looking for volunteers to work in a variety of shifts and areas on Sunday. If you are interested in helping out, visit their sign up page.

For more information about the event, visit their website.