BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The Delray Affair has been held annually in Delray Beach for more than 50 years, including for the last 15 years along Atlantic Avenue.
However, this year's event has moved north to the Boynton Beach Mall to an outdoor, socially distanced art affair.
The free event called the "Affair of the Arts" will showcase around 500 artists and crafters Friday through Sunday on the north side of the mall.
Food vendors and music will also be on site.
Last year's event did not take place because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce said about 90 percent of the vendors in 2019 have returned for this year's event.
"Although we are not able to hold the traditional Delray Affair event this year, we are happy to announce that many of the artists our guests have come to know and love will be present at our Affair of the Arts event in Boynton Beach," Nancy Stewart of Festival Management Group said in a written statement.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday then 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Marsha Hurwitt spent her Friday shopping and browsing at the new venue.
Hurwitt said she will travel to the event regardless of where it is held, but enjoys the extra space that the Boynton Beach Mall offers.
"The variety, everything is more spread out, and it's affordable," Hurwitt said. "There is a lot of room, wide isles, people wearing masks."
Vendors said they were surprised by the rush of people Friday with some selling out of their products within hours.
"I think people really want to get out and do something normal," said Stewart, who has organized the Affair for the last 15 years.
Stewart said they are asking people to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking and to stay 6 feet apart. So far she said there have been no issues with compliance.
However, some business owners in Delray Beach are disappointed the event is being held in Boynton Beach this year.
"You see a lot of foot traffic and that helps tremendously, especially when you have people from up north from out of town," said Pauline Ceasar of Ceasar's Famous Ribs.
Ceasar said she is hopeful the popular arts and crafts event will return to Delray Beach next year.
"It has been a little slow," Ceasar said.
Organizers said they were disappointed that they were unable to hold the traditional Delray Affair this year but are already making plans for their 60th-anniversary event in 2022.