For those living in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the west side of the Cascade Mountains, winter tends to be a long, continuous season of dark, rainy, cloudy, windy and depressing weather. The color of the season is gray, gray, and well, more gray. By January, any spot of sunshine is a welcome relief from the dullness of winter. By February, we are desperate for sun or even a hint of blue skies.
Then it happens—a Spring day. Birds chirp, bees buzz, the sky is painted in various hues of blue, and the sun spreads light and warmth. We emerge from our winter hibernation and venture outside, shedding our winter gear and ready to hike, bike, walk, or simply sit outside soaking up the long awaited sunshine.
Surrounded by beauty and some of mother nature's best landscapes we are offered some of the most scenic spots to visit, and all right here in our backyard. Mountains, beaches, islands, wildlife, seascapes, trails, forests, it calls to us and we answer with a roaring—yes.
It is days like these that remind us why we live here. Suddenly we go from dull gray to a visual explosion of color and beauty...a true work of art. Trees are blooming, flowers blossom, sunlight shines on the water, the mountains shine in all their glory, and life feels alive again. Out of the darkness of winter comes spring and a blast of light.
Life is full of beauty, gratitude, fresh air, sunshine, and color. Enjoy it, we deserve it after months of gray, dark dullness.
This year marked the 56th anniversary of the Anacortes Arts Festival. This well-run event provides a full three days of entertainment, food, music, and some of the best art. This festive and lively event brings thousands of visitors to the town of Anacortes during the first full weekend of August. The downtown street of Commercial Ave is lined with vendors, food, music stages, children's section, food court, and ends at the north end Commercial on the Guemes Channel where visitors can watch the working artist and enjoy the Fine Art Show at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed building. Learn more about the Anacortes Arts Festival and the festival's Giving Back Programs.
Highlight 1 - Working Artists Area
A favorite of the festival is the working artist area, located at the north end of Commercial Ave, just past the food booths.
PIANO-cortes - This year’s painters include a group of Anacortes High School students, artist Carla Seaton and a local team including Beth Smith, Molly Johnson & Wyndham Jackson. Pictured above is Carla Seaton, Carla's Funky Art. Carla's story was featured in the April issue of Stories from the Front Porch. Read more here.
New this year - Sand Sculpting
Highlight 2 - Juried Fine Art Show
Another great highlight and visitor favorite is the Fine Art Juried Show at the Port. Located at the north end of Commercial Ave in the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed on the beautiful Guemes Channel. Enjoy Fine Art, entertainment on the Port Stage, and enjoy drinks at the Waterfont Pub sponsored by Barrett Financial. Read more here.
Highlight 3 - The Artists and Vendors
The largest draw and the reason we all come to the Anacortes Arts Festival is the artists and the booth vendors. Hundreds of booths line Commercial Ave between 3rd and 10th St. A wonderful mixture of art, handmade works of art, jewelry, clothing, and more... there is something for everyone.
Highlight 4 - The Music and Entertainment
With three stages, you are sure to find something to entertain you and great music.
Highlight 5 - The Food and Beer Gardens
Whatever the reason, whatever you crave to eat, there is nothing quite like festival food at the Anacortes Food Festival. The main food court is always located at the south end of Commercial Ave, scattered throught the festival is goodies like ice cream, kettle corn, and other crowd favorites. This year they added a Food Truck Court on 6th St.
Highlight 6 - The Children's Section
On 7th Street you will find the Children's Section filled with activities for the kids.
Highlight 7 - Jules the Juggler
Always a crowd favorite is Jules the Juggler. This street performer from Bellingham, WA, is a crowd pleaser, drawing large crowds and keeping them entertained with his comedic juggling act.
Highlight 8 - The Volunteers
The true backbone of this well-run organization is the volunteers and the staff.
Highlight 9 - Best of the Fest
Winner of Best of the Fest this year was jewelry artist Heidi Klepper
Highlight 10 - The Visitors and this one dog
By Karla Locke
Author of The Blood Stone Queen and other ebooks, Freelance Writer for Stories from the Front Porch and other publications. Karla shares her passion of the arts and artists, photography, writing, small businesses, and people who live, work, and play with passion.
A Dozen Doors in India
Short Stories of passion, of life, of people.