San Diego's Little Italy community is always vibrant, but this weekend that energy will be amplified as a two-day, art-centric block party lines the streets.
The 33rd Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk will go down this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., highlighting both visual and performing arts in San Diego.
This year, the event will fill 15 blocks along India Street, from Fir to Beech streets, with more than 300 local, national and international artists showcasing and selling their works. The artworks span every medium -- from paintings and sculptures to glass works, fine jewelry and photography.
The free, family-friendly fest will also feature live music and dance performances across multiple stages: India and Beech streets; India and Cedar streets; India and Date streets; India & Fir streets. Each stage will host several performances throughout the days.
Also on deck at the ArtWalk: street food vendors, interactive activities and a "KidsWalk" area with a wide range of creative projects to keep the little ones busy.
Organizers say the event typically draws 100,000 art enthusiasts of all ages. It is recognized as one of San Diego’s premier arts and cultural events and the largest fine art festival in Southern California.
Due to the large crowd, organizers suggest attendees use public transit like the MTS trolley to get to the ArtWalk. The trolley’s Green Line stops at the County Center/Little Italy stop, which is at the western edge of the event area between Cedar and Beech streets. From there, it’s a short walk east on Beech Street to the block party.
There will also be a free Old Town Trolley shuttle taking passengers to and from the ArtWalk from two parking lots near the event: the Airport’s Economy Lot on Admiral Boland Way, just west of Pacific Highway, or the Aladdin Garage located at Kettner Boulevard and Laurel Street.
A ride-sharing service may also be a good option for getting to the ArtWalk. Lyft is offering new or existing users a 30 percent discount to and from the festival with the code "ARTWALKSD."
If you choose to drive, there’s also a large Ace Parking garage located at the corner of Cedar Street and Kettner Boulevard; remember, parking it limited.