After being canceled last year because of the pandemic, the Fine Arts Fiesta will go on this year in downtown Wilkes-Barre but it will be a socially distanced and shorter version of the popular festival.

The safety-minded “Presentation of the Arts 2021” will be held 11a.m. to 7p.m. May 14-16 on Public Square, Kathy Bozinski, a member of the Fine Arts Fiesta board of directors and co-chair of the marketing committee, announced Thursday in a news release.

COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding masking, sanitizing and social distancing will be required at the event.

While maintaining the spirit of the annual Fine Arts Fiesta, the presentation will be tailored to meet current health and safety guidelines, Bozinski said.
Features will include an Artists’ Market and exhibitions by members of the Wyoming Valley Art League, Verve Vertu and the Wyoming Valley Bonsai Society.

In accordance with CDC guidelines and as a safety precaution for visitors, there will be no children’s activities, live entertainment or juried art exhibit at this year’s festival, she said.

In lieu of a fiesta food court, board members encouraged visitors to patronize and support downtown Wilkes-Barre restaurants which have endured hardships over the last year.

When the Fine Arts Fiesta was canceled last year as a result of the pandemic, it was about to celebrate its 65th anniversary and people have been hoping for its return.

“The presentation is being held as an opportunity for the arts community to embrace and inspire our regional community as we safely work our way back to normalcy,” Bozinski said. “While the Fiesta board of directors and the City of Wilkes Barre would prefer to have a full Fine Arts Fiesta this year, obviously it is not possible at this time due to the ongoing pandemic and health and safety mandates.”