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      All roads lead to ArtFields

      Several of the hundreds of works of art on display in Lake City for ArtFields/Tonya Brown

      There are signs all over Lake City pointing to the second annual Art F ields art competition.

      It's the largest art contest in the Southeast with more than 400 pieces of art from artists in 12 states.

      It takes place from April 25 through May 4 and is expected to bring more than 20,000 people to the small town of fewer than 7,000 in lower Florence County.

      Art F ields is expected to generate more than $5 million for Lake City.

      Florence County leaders say the art festival is a win-win for Lake City and Florence County.

      "Art F ields is here to showcase Lake City, but also Florence County as well. Because as we talked earlier, most of the hotels are booked. It's very exciting. We been building up to this since last year when it ended. Everybody's been planning for it. The businesses downtown has stocked up on new merchandise and have plenty of stuff," said Jason Springs, Florence County Council.

      Officials say they've had more businesses to locate in downtown Lake City since last year's festival.

      "Since Art F ields, we've actually had more new businesses, new restaurants, new boutiques and with our hotel coming in. And we really haven't even measured that goal yet," said Karen Fowler, Art F ields.

      The art competition includes two and three-dimensional art pieces exhibited in more than 50 downtown businesses, outdoor spaces and other venues.

      Art F ields also features music, food and entertainment.

      There have been several accommodations made this year for visitors, including a free shuttle service around downtown, exclusive events for competition artists, signage around Lake City to help navigate around the area, as well as an information booth on the corner of Church and East Main Streets.

      The Art F ields Field Guide includes voting instructions (for the People's Choice award), parking information , venue details, daily event guide and full-color map. You can pick up a copy at the information booth.

      Winners of the competition will share up to $100,000 in total cash prizes. Winners will be announced May 3 at the Finale Party on The Green.

      Art F ields has been conceived to honor Lake City's rich agricultural history.

      You can click here to find out more on ArtFields.