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Fairs & Festivals
May 09, 2024
Fine Arts Fiesta Showcases Thriving Arts Scene

Annual Arts Festival Features Skilled Artists, Live Music, and Talented Artisans

The arts converge on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre every third week in May for the annual Fine Arts Fiesta. This beloved celebration of arts showcases local and regional musicians, dancers, theater artists, poets, visual artists, artisans, crafters and international talent at this popular, four-day event. The tents are pitched, the stage is set and food trucks and vendors of all varieties flock to this art-fueled weekend of great, family-friendly entertainment.

As the oldest multi-disciplinary arts festival of its kind in Pennsylvania, and growing year-over-year since it began in 1956, the Fine Arts Festa brings thousands of joyful visitors with a love for the arts to the Diamond City. It also gives local performing and visual arts groups and organizations the opportunity to share their talents with the community on the main stage and under the tented galleries.

Performing Arts Take Center Stage

On the main stage, art-enthusiasts are treated to rich talent, from high school bands, orchestras, choruses and concert choirs, to dancers, musical students, theater groups, poetry readings, and international headlining musicians from Thursday morning through Sunday evening.

Check Out the Stunning Artwork

The adult and student juried art show, found under the tents in the middle of the Square, is a highlight of the Fiesta. Stroll through the numerous galleries showcasing watercolor, oil, pen and ink, photography and sculpture as well as the winning juried artwork from professional, amateur and student artists. To see art in action, visit the Artists in Residence where you can observe first-hand the process of oil painting, printmaking, pottery and silk painting.

Fun-Filled Activities for the Kids

The Fiesta is filled with plenty of fun for the kids, who especially enjoy creating their own make-and-take works of art at the Children’s Art Workshop. Puppeteer shows, story time with the Osterhout Library, a strolling mime, a clown, a visit with Mother Goose, and face painting are just a few of the delightful activities planned for tiny art enthusiasts.

One-of-a-Kind Artisanal Craft Market

Local and regional artisans and craftspeople are a large presence at the festival each year. Shop the Artists’ Market where you’ll find woodwork, pottery, glass, paintings, photographs, jewelry and so much more. Keep an eye out for artisans who are crafting, creating and taking custom orders live during the Fiesta.

It Wouldn’t be a Festival Without Plenty of Food and Treats

Of course, we can’t forget the food. Come for the arts and entertainment and grab a bite to eat from the assortment of food trucks parked around the Square. From ethnic choices like empanadas, pierogies and potato pancakes to pizza, gyros, fresh-cut fries, ice cream, fudge and more, you’ll come hungry and leave satisfied.

68th Annual Fine Arts Fiesta

When: May 16 – 19, 2024
Times: Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Wilkes-Barre Public Square
Cost: All activities and performances are free and open to the public
Headlining Act: Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.; “worldbeat rock” artists Michael Glabicki and the Rusted Root Uprooted

Visit the Fine Arts Fiesta online for a full schedule of events, festival maps and more. And follow them on Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates.