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Mayfaire by-the-Lake Tradition Continues for 2021 Mother’s Day Weekend

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Mayfaire by-the-Lake Tradition Continues for 2021 Mother’s Day Weekend

Lakeland, FL (April 15, 2021) – The Polk Museum of Art’s Mayfaire by-the-Lake will return to the shores of Lake Morton on May 8 and 9, 2021, from 9 am to 4 pm daily. Mayfaire by-the-Lake, a Polk Museum of Art fine art festival, started as a small craft show on the Lakeland Library lawn in 1971 and has grown to be one of the most prestigious juried outdoor festivals in Florida. Held each year on Mother’s Day weekend, Mayfaire is a free two-day fair that was ranked 36th by Sunshine Artist Magazine in 2019. 


During Mayfaire weekend, the Museum, staff, and volunteers will be taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of visitors and art enthusiasts as they enjoy the festival. Visitors can expect hand sanitizing and washing stations to be available, and all visitors, artists, and staff will be strongly recommended to wear masks within the boundaries of Mayfaire, including around Lake Morton, and required to wear masks when visiting the Museum. In addition, artists’ tents will each be placed six feet apart, spreading farther around the perimeter of Lake Morton to encourage social distancing. Additional signage with social distancing recommendations, mask mandates, and visitor safety precautions will be displayed throughout the festival to highlight and reinforce these guidelines. In addition, the Polk County Health Department will have a presence at the festival, promoting safe and healthy practices and COVID prevention awareness. 

“As annual a tradition as Mother’s Day itself, Mayfaire by-the-Lake is a beloved event like no other in our region,” said Dr. Alex Rich, executive director and chief curator of the Polk Museum of Art. “We were so disappointed that the pandemic necessitated our skipping the festival in 2020, so, for 2021, it felt ever more important that we return better than ever. With COVID policies and guidelines in place, we want Mayfaire 2021 to be a true celebration, offering much-needed respite in art for our whole community and shoring up everyone’s spirits with a weekend of family-friendly fun.” 

This year, more than 150 artists will be showcasing their work across 13 different media, from ceramics, painting, and woodwork to photography, sculpture, glass, and more. Art can be purchased in-person and online through the festival’s Eventeny virtual event site, which can be accessed throughMayfairebytheLake.org

“Despite the pandemic, we had so many great artists from across the country apply for Mayfaire 2021, making it very competitive to be invited to exhibit,” states Leslie Norman, Mayfairecoordinator. “We are excited to see returning artists and welcome a number of new artists as well!”

While admiring artists’ work, festival visitors can also stop by the Library lawn to take in live musical performances and dine at specialty food trucks, which will provide a wide range of delectable options for everyone to enjoy. In addition, Mayfaire will offer free art activities for children of all abilities, and the Polk Museum of Art will be open to all guests to tour the Museum’s newest and largest-ever exhibition, “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Belle Époque.” Capacity will be monitored throughout the galleries; to guarantee admission, make your reservation online at PolkMuseumofArt.org/SignUp

For the health and safety of all festival visitors and the community, Mayfaire Saturday Night has been canceled for 2021; the Museum is excited to bring the evening celebration back to the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror Park in 2022. Still scheduled, however, the Lakeland Runners club will be celebrating 42 years of the Mayfaire 5k Road Rack and Walk through the Lake Morton historic district. Following COVID safety protocols, runners will be placed in corrals based on the bib numbers to allow for social distancing. For more information and registration, visit LakelandRunnersClub.org. 

Mayfaire by-the-Lake is a free community event that benefits the Polk Museum of Art’s education and exhibition programming, including its ability to offer year-round free admission to the Museum, student scholarships and programs, and exhibitions for visitors of all ages and interests. Mayfaire by-the-Lake will take place on Lake Morton’s shores in downtown Lakeland on May 8 and 9, 2021, from 9 am to 4 pm. For more information, visit MayfairebytheLake.org or contact Taylor Holycross at 863.688.7743 ex. 249 or [email protected]

About the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a not-for-profit, teaching museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida. The Museum’s COVID hours are Tuesdays–Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm and closed Sunday, Monday, and major holidays. The facility is handicapped accessible and special needs assistance is available. Admission is free, thanks to our strategic partner, The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation.

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