If you want to attend a Laguna art festival, there are three within walking distance of each other: the Sawdust Festival, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and Art-A-Fair. All of them are open air festivals, but offer plenty of shade on warm Laguna summer days.
All three are located on the Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach California, and are within walking distance of each other. The open air trolley shuttle gives free transportation between them and other areas around Laguna Beach, including up and down the Coast Highway where most of the hotels are and a large parking lot.
This lot is further down the Canyon Road toward the 73 and 405 freeways, making it a convenient place to leave the car if visiting the festivals and you want to avoid the traffic and parking hassles downtown on busy summer weekends.
The Festival of Arts is a splendid fine arts exhibit, with more than 140 award winning juried Laguna Beach artists. All are original works of art. You can sip wine and sit and listen to a jazz band in between browsing the amazing art. A romantic restaurant called Tivoli Terrace offers meals. There are also free children’s workshops at this Laguna art festival. My daughter got an excellent lesson in water color by one of the dedicated artists.
The Pageant of the Masters is a very popular performance held nightly at the Festival of Arts. It consists of works of art brought to life on stage using live actors and elaborately detailed sets. It has a separate admission from the main festival. For tickets, go to the website listed above, or call. Phone: 800-487-3378.
The Sawdust Art Festival is primarily a crafts festival. The ground is covered with sawdust, giving it a special atmosphere. Tall trees provide shade. A stage provides entertainment. Food booths provide nourishment such as Greek plates.
Children’s workshops such as learning how to shape a ceramic pot on a wheel are offered during the day. Overall, it is a relaxed, fun place to browse unique jewelry, blown glass, pottery, 3D art, paintings, pottery and more by Laguna Beach artists.
The Sawdust Festival is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road. Phone number: 949-494-3030.
For current admission prices, see sawdustfestival.org.
The third Laguna art festival in the group is Art-A-Fair. It is located on the same side of the street as the Sawdust Art Festival, halfway to the Festival of Arts which is on the opposite side. Rarely crowded, it is a peaceful place to browse the works of art for sale. Live bands add to the ambience.
Around 130 fine artists and craftspeople from all over display their works here. They include both emerging artists and award winning, well known artists. Workshops are offered on a daily basis for children and adults. There are usually a few working on a painting right there in their booth as viewers stroll by.
Tivoli Too is the restaurant at the back in a lovely courtyard setting complete with waterfall and tropical foliage. It is a romantic place to have a drink or a meal.
Art-A-Fair’s address is 777 Laguna Canyon Road. Phone: 949-494-4514. Hours are usually 10 to 9 Sunday through Thursday and 10 to 10 on Friday and Saturday. For current times and admission prices, see art-a-fair.com.
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