Constance Mettler

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

We decided to try Florida for the first time this year.  I am a little freaked out. We are driving down from Philadelphia and we'll be in Florida for a month with a show every weekend.  Any help on hotels and advice would be great:

Las Olas Art Fair Part I - 24th Annual (Ft. Lauderdale)  January 1/7-1/8
Boca Fest - 25th Annual (Boca Raton, FL) 1/14-1/15
Delray Beach Art Festival - 23rd Annual (Downtown Delray Beach, FL.)1/21-1/22
St. Armands Circle Art Festival - 9th Annual (Sarasota, FL)1/28-1/29

Mt. Dora - 2/4-2/5

Many Thanks!


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Hi Lu!  I'm sorry I'm not doing any of those shows, it would be great to see you both again! 
Well, the good news is there are no boardwalks at any of these shows  ;-) . 

As far as hotels go, just hit up Priceline and don't be afraid to bid aggressively.  Even in season you can find something decent for $89 or so. (I did shows around the state all last year and never paid more than that.)  Are you staying in hotels the entire time?  Boca and Delray Beach are so close to each other that one hotel should suffice for both shows; maybe you can get a lower rate for a continuous stay. 

Hotels near St. Armands are extremely pricey in season but if you book on US 41, the main drag through downtown Sarasota, you'll be reasonably close by (10-15 mins drive tops).  In my experience the hotels on the north side of Sarasota, closer to Sarasota-Bradenton airport, are less expensive. 

Can't help you with Mt. Dora, haven't done that show.  Lots of info about that show on the site here if you search for it.  I understand that load-in/out can be a bit grueling, but certainly nothing like what we did in OC!

Good luck with the shows!!

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Mt.Dora for the antique extravaganza. It was nice. Probably runs about $90 per night. We're paying about $90 per night artists discount rate in Winter Park,regular rate was $129.00.Ask if they have a discount rate for artists.

Thanks Michelle!!  I'll definitely check it out. :)

You may have already heard this but be prepared for unlevel spots in Mt Dora.  Unlike most of Florida there are actually hills in Mt. Dora.

When you cross the border into Florida stop at the Welcom Center, not the one on the Georgia side, but the official Florida State one.  They have lots of great walk in rates for hotels all over the state.  Each state handles this differently.  Some state welcome centers even make reservations for you and you can get extremely low prices.  I use the walk in discounts for travel nights and nights inbetween shows. 

This is exactly what my husband & I have planned in our future, so I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes for you. What products do you create and sell?

Hi Mary, I create high texture paintings, you can see my work at I'll definitely review the shows by FEB.

Hi Lu!

Sounds like you received some great advice regarding hotels. The first three shows are within 25 miles of each other so if you found a nice hotel there, you could in theory stay there for 3 weeks and probably get a nice discount from the hotel. Prices are definitely higher in spring than in fall, but you should be able to find some nice places within your budget.

The one thing I'm confident with is that if you stayed in Lake Mary, you could stay at Hilton Garden Inn for $63-73 per night. Lake Mary is about 23 miles from Mount Dora so there would be a 30-35 minute commute (over state roads, interstate doesn't connect two cities). Also, Altamonte Springs has some budget hotels there that are pretty well kept and you may get some with a rate lower than $60 per night that have good reviews. I would advise against hotels with exterior entrances because you may get bugs in your room if it rains and things like that.

If the commute is too far, you could stay there following Sarasota during that week, it may be cheaper than hotel options in the Sarasota area and along the Gulf side of the state.

Also, if you book through they give you a free night for every 10 nights you book with them. I travel a lot and primarily stay at Hilton's so I end up getting free nights every 5 stays or so, so it helps out.

Good luck with your shows and I am confident you will do well. You have gotten in some really good ones by Howard Alan Events!

Happy New Year!



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