2022 marked the return of one of Oxford’s most widely known and celebrated arts and culture events: the Double Decker Arts Festival.
The historic festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in late April, showcasing some of the southeast’s greatest artistic, musical and culinary work.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, vendors and patrons alike were eagerly anticipating the return of this Oxford cultural staple.
“Hosting Double Decker in 2022 felt like rolling out the welcome mat and saying, ‘Y’all come back,’” Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill said.
The event featured more than 100 art vendors and 20-plus local food vendors, in addition to a number of musical acts that kept audiences coming back in droves.
In between listening to musical acts, students and families alike wandered the historic Square and took a look at the vast array of artworks, from companies such as Sabrina Ewing Art and Whitney Winkler Art.
Attendees also grabbed a bite to eat from the likes of Blind Pig Pub and Deli, Taylor Grocery and Walk-On’s.
The event saw a staggering attendance, with Visit Oxford estimating more than 100,000 people attending Double Decker’s return, far surpassing 2019’s estimated 70,000 attendees.
The impressive crowds included many returning visitors and Oxford natives, as well as newcomers who had yet to experience the festival due.
“Double Decker was truly one of the best experiences of college thus far,” sophomore film production major Kaitlyn Steinroder said. “I felt the spirit of Oxford come to life that weekend and I enjoyed seeing everyone together on the Square for art and music. Just a positive all around.”
What began as an aspirational goal by then-Oxford Tourism Council Director Tannehill has blossomed into one of Oxford’s most beloved communal traditions.
“Double Decker Arts Festival came back bigger and better than ever in 2022,” Tannehill said. “Was it because we hadn’t been able to host one in two years? Was it because we were all so excited to see live music again? Can we ever top last year’s Double Decker? Yes, yes and YES!”
Whether 2023’s festival will reach the heights of 2022’s festival remains to be seen. Regardless, students and visitors alike eagerly await to see what Tannehill and the Double Decker planning committee have in store.
“We are already excited about the 2023 Double Decker and we think everyone else will be, too,” Tannehill said.
The 2023 Double Decker Arts Festival is set to take place April 28-29.