The first Art Festival in Long's Park was held July 4, 1976 and was presented by the Lancaster County Bicentennial Committee. The success of the event drew the attention of Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation (LPAF) leadership, who were looking for a new funding source for the amphitheater.
A partnership was struck with the twin goals of creating a quality Art Festival in Lancaster, while raising funds for the foundation and its cultural initiatives like the music series. The first Labor Day show in 1979 was held in conjunction with LPAF’s annual day of music, featuring 87 artists and craftspeople.
The Art Festival now welcomes thousands of visitors each year and hosts 200 exhibitors who are chosen through a competitive jury process.