This weekend, Anacortes will play host to 80,000 festival goers. They come back year after year for the treasures, fine art, music, good times and the friendly hospitality they experience when they are in our town.
This year, the weekend kicks-off with extended festival hours and a Locals Night. The entire festival will be open until 8:00p.m. on Friday to give locals a time to explore the booth artisans after work, in a possibly less crowded and slightly cooler environment. Watch for a coupon in local papers that you can exchange for a gift during Locals Night.
The festival streets a will be lined with 280 artists, representing art and craft in every medium. Make sure to check out new additions like Ink Alley—an area with indie crafts, focusing on repurposed and earth friendly products. If you want to see art and heavy equipment collide, steamroller block printing is back in the Working Studios area. 22 artists have carved Northwest designs that will be inked and rolled onto colorful fabric with the help of a steamroller. Other highlights in that area include a 3D chalk octopus emerging from the blacktop and a display of artistic creatures created from marine debris collected on local beaches.
The crown jewel of the festival is the Arts at the Port Fine Art Exhibition on the Guemes Channel waterfront. It’s always magical to see the rustic Port of Anacortes warehouse transformed into a fine art gallery—you can smell the sea and observe the changing of the tides through the cracks in the massive floor beams, all while enjoying the art. This year’s juror, working with the theme “Zeitgeist” (spirit of our times) is Stefano Catalani—the renowned Curator for the Bellevue Art Museum. The show opens on Saturday, August 1 starting at 5:30 (free), and continues through the festival weekend.
If music is important the festival will have three stages going from morning into the evening hours. Bands performing, who have local ties, include A’ Town Big Band, Shidaa, Knut Bell, The Jefferson Rose Band, Trish Hatley and Whiskey Fever. Music from around the region includes Crème Tangerine playing Beatles music, Pearl Django Gypsy Jazz, Chance McKinney Country Rock and Magic Bus retro Rock-n-Roll, to name a few. There will even be a Friday night street dance with Cambalache, Seattle’s premiere salsa band. There is truly something for every musical taste.
All of the proceeds from this three day festival are reinvested in art—this year to the tune of $80,000. This amount includes funding for public art projects and support of other arts organizations. The majority of giving supports art education for children, filling a gap in the education system, and hopefully creating a new generation of artists and creative learners.
So enjoy a great community celebration... find a hand made treasure... enjoy some music and good food... be inspired and awed!