240 artists prepare to showcase their best work at the 86th annual Plaza Art Fair this weekend

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 86th Annual Plaza Art Fair has kicked off, and it covers nine blocks and those putting on the event are expecting more than 250,000 people.

With thousands of people flocking to Kansas City this weekend — it’s a big boost for our local economy.

“It`s my favorite show, I do a lot of shows across the country, and it`s just the people here are so friendly, they have such good quality at this art fair, probably some of the best art that I see all year,” says Nichole Collins, one of 240 artists with an exhibit at the 86th Annual Plaza Art Fair.

“I am selling hand-made jewelry that`s made with sterling silver and high carat gold with various gemstones,” adds Collins, “I just moved back to Lawrence, Kan., I studied jewelry design there, and love being back in the Kansas City area.”

“It`s a competitive jury process, we start taking applications in February, and we get about 1,400 applications in, and then we have juries come in and sit for two days, and they basically score the art fair and come up with 240 artists, and 35 alternates…the judges change every year and that`s what makes it fresh, new, and exciting,” Plaza Art Fair Director Jan Cichello says.

The three-day event is Kansas City’s unofficial welcome to the fall season. It’s a top-ranked, national art event with three live music stages and more than 25 featured restaurant booths.

“It`s a celebration of culture, art, music, all the food…kid’s activities, it`s really just become a place where everyone likes to meet up, it`s just a celebration for Kansas City, so we are thrilled to host it once again,” Cichello says.

Artists come in from all across the nation, and about 30-percent of them are local artists.

More than 250,000 people are expected to attend.

“All of us that have to travel in, and get hotels, and were eating at the restaurants, buying clothing if we forgot something at home, yeah, I think it stimulates the economy really well in Kansas City,” Collins adds.

“A lot of our stores will offer deals and promotions…we`re calling it the art of shopping,” says Cichello.

The art fair director says there is something for everyone,and the artists are looking forward to showcasing their art.

“Kansas City really appreciates art, and understands that they want something to be unique and that nobody else has,” says Collins.

For more information visit: http://www.plazaartfair.com/

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