Nothing brings out a neighborhood's true colors like a street festival--that sweaty, dreadlocked, beer-swilling cousin of the farmers market. You just don't know a place till you've walked its streets with a clever T-shirt and a party cup, and for 16 years now, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival has been helping you get to know the city's best-loved neighborhood with a perfect mix of art, music and street food. The three-day festival is taking over six blocks of Main Street between the Good-Latimer Expressway and Hall Street, with work from 120 artists led by this year's featured artist, Deep Ellum mural czar Frank Campagna. This weekend will also see the return of the art cars, the wildest grass-covered, over-welded, animal-inspired automotive beasts. The festival has a full lineup of music across four stages, including acts like Spector 45, Paul Slavens and Hendrick, with a Texas blues stage new for 2010. Other highlights of the weekend include the at 11 a.m., a stage dedicated to performance art and poetry, and the death- and decade-defying inline skating stunt show. You can be one of 60,000 expected to drop by the free festival, which benefits the Deep Ellum Association and Foundation, from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Check deepellumartsfestival.com for more info.
Fri., April 2, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., April 3, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., April 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 2010