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Old Hyde Park Village Art Festival beckons

Come rain or shine more than 150 artists will exhibit their work at the 3rd Annual Old Hyde Park Village Art Festival this weekend.

The festival, held on the streets of the village today and Sunday, will feature watercolor and acrylic paintings, ceramics, clay sculptures, photography and a mixture of styles.

"It's a lovely quality show as to the type of work they have," said Margaret Conte, a Brandon artist who makes clay masks. "I just pray it doesn't rain."

Some rain is in the forecast for this weekend, according to Mike Crow of the National Weather Service in Ruskin. "It looks like a 30 percent chance for showers in the afternoon," he said.

Organizers said most artists prepare for bad weather by exhibiting their works under tents. The shops and restaurants in the village also will be open.

"It's a very nice place to have a show and it's well attended," Conte said.

Tampa painter Fran Hancock has participated in the festival since it began three years ago. She has sold many of her Florida landscape oil paintings over the years.

"It really draws a good crowd," Hancock said. "It's not a very large show due to the space that's it's in, but it's a very high quality show."

Local photographer Paul Montecalvo will participate in the festival for the first time this year exhibiting his photographs from the New England area.

"I've done the one at Plant Park and the Gasparilla festival, but this will be my first time at Hyde Park," Montecalvo said. "We've been doing this promoter's shows and he's very good, he always gets a good turnout."

Along with the art, strolling musicians will provide entertainment throughout both days and money from soft drinks sold will be donated to the March of Dimes.

SATURDAY'S PICK

Festival facts

WHAT: 3rd Annual Old Hyde Park Village Art Festival.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Today-Sunday.

WHERE: Old Hyde Park Village, 1509 Swann Ave.

ADMISSION: Free.

INFORMATION: 962-0388.

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