News and Events

It's a Tobacco-Free Arts Festival This Year in Cedar Key!
April 8, 2017

Cedar Key’s 53rd Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts festival was hosted by the Cedar Key Arts Center on April 8th and 9th. In 2016, Art Fair Calendar's Annual Survey voted this festival as one of the "Top Ten Best Art Fairs in America." Last year, an estimated 18,000-20,000 people visited Cedar Key to attend. Local non-profit businesses and organizations share community information and sell a variety of food and desserts in City Park, where festival-goers congregate to listen to music, visit community booths, and eat lunch while their children participate in art activities and play on the playground or on the beach.  


This is the 8th year that the Tobacco Free Partnership (TFP) of Levy County has been involved as a participant and/or sponsor for this event, and the festival has been moving in the direction of establishing a tobacco free event for several years. This year, for the first time, the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts festival Board of Directors passed a formal policy to designate the event as tobacco free, with two designated tobacco use areas away from the crowds. Due to the new tobacco free event policy, this was a prime opportunity to contribute to changing community norms around tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, as well as educate the community about tobacco issues and the goals of the Tobacco Free Partnership.    

As the "Art in the Park" Sponsor, the Tobacco Free Partnership directly supported the children's art activities as well as provided education and a safe and tobacco free environment for families. Youth and adult partnership members set up a booth in a prominent location in Cedar Key's City Park. This event provided an opportunity to reduce smokeless tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in the community, and the partnership members engaged and educated the diverse crowd of parents, community members, youth, and decision makers in attendance about the smokeless tobacco and secondhand smoke issues as well as the importance of policies, such as the new arts festival policy, that create tobacco free events and venues.

Levy County Community Health Advocate, Kristina Zachry, felt that the tobacco free event was a success. “It was very well received by the community,” Mrs. Zachry said. “There were a lot of people that came up to the booth and thanked us, so I think this was a great decision for the festival board to make and we look forward to continuing to sponsor and attend this event in the future.”