SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The region’s largest one-day arts festival returns to downtown Sioux Falls this weekend.

The Sidewalk Arts Festival is set for Saturday, with hundreds of vendors lining the streets surrounding the Washington Pavilion.

“They get a chance to be in front of people, they get a chance to share what they’re passionate about, spread the word about their own businesses and for some of them it’s really how they make their living,” Washington Pavilion Director of Museums Brandon Hanson said.

The annual event tosses a spotlight on local artists, but it’s so much more than just art.

“We have live entertainment as well from live musicians to performers, all sorts of stuff. We’ll have Radley Rex, our mascot, the dinosaur, come out a couple different times, hand out color books and interact with kids. It’s really going to be quite fun,” Hanson said.

A year ago, numbers were down due to rain and COVID-19. The pandemic continues, but Hanson expects a bounce back year for the festival.

“In year’s past we’ve had around 40,000 people show up, last year was a lot less. We’re pretty equal on the vendors, on how many vendors we have this year compared to last, but we’re expecting a big turnout,” Hanson said.

“There’s definitely been a pent up demand, not only from community members but also visitors to Sioux Falls, so events around here have been very successful and we expect that especially for the Sidewalk Arts Festival,” Swier said.

An impressive turnout also means big bucks. The Sidewalk Arts Festival serves as a fundraiser for the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion.

“The reason that we do it is because it funds out missions. It funds exhibitions, it funds the artists that we bring in to the Visual Arts Center, it funds the programming, so any sort of activity that we have going on in the Raven Children’s Studio this is where those dollars are coming from,” Hanson said.

The Sidewalk Arts Festival runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday outside the Washington Pavilion.