Dubuquefest, Iowa’s oldest arts festival, returns after one-year break

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Dubuquefest is back after canceling last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s Iowa’s longest-running arts festival, with this being its 42nd event. The festival usually serves more than 60 artists, but the event has been scaled back this year with only 30 artists participating. People are able to listen to live music and take part in other activities including live music, food, and chalk art for children.

Ali Levasseur, director of the Dubuquefest and president of the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society, said this event is what helps the community connect more.

“I think it has the impact of reminding people that you can meet an artist in person and you can talk with them about their process. You might see art in a museum, you might see it in a gallery but the impact of being able to meet that artist and talk with them,” Levasseur said.

Emily Cotton Cram, local business owner of DayDream Illustration and vendor at the Dubuquefest, said events like these help to continue growing the arts community and culture in Dubuque.

“I think it’s a good reminder that the arts are here. Dubuque hasn’t always had the largest art community but it’s been growing,” Cram said. “And I think it’s a trend all over the Midwest to remind people were not just a fly-over state. There’s actually arts and culture here. And really beautiful people making beautiful things.”

This is Cram’s fourth year at the fest with most of her sales online. Dubuquefest continues until tomorrow, August 8. You can learn more about events happening in Dubuque at the event’s website.

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