While any day is a good day to go to the beach, the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is offering a great excuse to visit Pleasure Island in March — the 46th annual Orange Beach Festival of Art is set for March 14-15. The festival will feature 100 booths of local and regional fine art, plus exciting acts on the performing arts and music stages. Festival goers may also enjoy live visual arts demonstrations including hot glass and clay. Savory gourmet offerings will be presented in the Culinary Arts area and children can dive into fun hands-on experiences in the Kids Art Alley.
The reputation of this show continues to grow with its selection in 2019 by the readers of ALABAMA Magazine as the “Best of Bama” – Best Art Festival in the state of Alabama. Also, for the first time ever, the show broke into the top 200 national rankings by Sunshine Artist Magazine, coming in at No. 39 in Fine Art & Design shows.
The festival is a fine arts, juried event held every second weekend in March on the joint grounds of the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach and Waterfront Park on Canal Road. Festival hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is completely free with public parking located at both The Wharf west lot and the Orange Beach City Hall complex. Shuttle service is provided with an all-day pass for $5. Bike riders can park at the Bicycle Village on the Arts Center grounds.
The Patron of the Arts program, offered through the local Friends of the Arts (501c3) group, is now in its fourth year and provides committed art-purchasing dollars that lets the participating fine artists know they have solid support from the community. Bronze, Silver and Gold levels are available for purchase through March 1, 2020.
With more than 100 artists working in a variety of mediums, festivalgoers enjoy dazzling art at every turn. Fine artists, gourmet culinary vendors, musical performers and live demonstrations always deliver a multitude of sensory experiences.
The 2020 music line-up will include Roman Street, Sugarcane Jane, Groovinators and more. Performing artists in multiple genres will be featured on the Performing Arts Stage with acts including Coastal Ballet Academy and the Orange Beach Expect Excellence performers.
Culinary selections featured at the festival offer gourmet flair, while still providing plenty of child-friendly options. Feast your eyes on beautifully presented culinary pieces while savoring the rich flavors of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Participating restaurants will include Alabama Coastal Catering (Cosmo’s/Cobalt restaurants), Bleus Burgers, Fin & Fork, and Wharf Catering Group (Villaggio Grill/Yo Ho Rum & Taco.) BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets will also be located in the Culinary Arts area.
In addition to the Culinary Arts section, the Specialty Foods Area will include The Meat Mart of Orange Beach, Two Sisters Olive and Grape, Potter Farms and Willow Farms, among others.
Kids' Art Alley offers young festival goers plenty of hands-on fun. Children can dig their fingers into clay, make sand art, enjoy games, watch live demonstrations and take home their own works of art. The Gulf State Park Nature Center and the Orange Beach Wildlife Center will offer children an up-close look at wild animals.
The festival continues to showcase past Best of Show winners as the signature design element for the current year. Best of Show in 2019 was Christina Smith with her beautiful works focused on nature and done in gouache and pencil. One of her pieces is featured on the 2020 festival poster.
Come see the waterfront Coastal Arts Center fine arts gallery and experience Pleasure Island’s brightest and best at the 46th annual Orange Beach Festival of Art on Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15. For more information visit OrangeBeachArtsFestival.com, follow on Facebook at “Orange Beach Festival of Art,” or call 251-981-ARTS (2787).