When Mother’s Day weekend rolls around, the Sunset Beach 45th Annual Art Festival, will be the place to celebrate. The Art Festival runs through the weekend of May 12th and 13th, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the green strip park running through the town and in the community center and firehouse located on 12th street. The festival is a creation of Las Damas, a local women’s organization, devoted to the arts and to charitable and community support.
During the weekend over 140 artisans exhibit and sell their original arts and crafts. Every imaginable handmade item will be on display—fine jewelry, art glass, paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, clothing and accessories. Each item is created by the craftsman and cannot be found in a mall or shopping center.
A Fine Arts Gallery fills our firehouse with original works of art: Watercolor, oil/acrylic, photography, and mixed media for viewing and for purchasing. Typically the art ranges from realistic to highly abstract interpretations of nature and society; from black-on-white drawings to colorful works with myriad themes and perspectives.
There is a special place for children at the Festival: A Kids’ Zone, located on 12th street, where the young visitors can play games, make a sea-shell creation, test their chalk art skills, visit a real fire truck, and participate in a talent show.
Another highlight of the festival is the raffle of a handmade quilt, sewn by members of the Las Damas and other community members. It features multiple squares designed to resemble Sunset Beach events, landmarks, and businesses.
Food and music in the community center, also on 12th street, round out a perfect weekend celebration. Local vendors such as Taco Surf, North Shore Barbecue, Raul’s (bacon-wrapped and chili-cheese dogs), Sophie’s Kitchen (pizza) and others will fill our stomachs and local bands will fill our ears with sweet sound during the two days of the festival.
The funds raised from the Art Festival support charities for the mentally ill, homeless families and at-risk teenagers. In addition, a portion of the profit from the festival are given to each of the schools in Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Los Alamitos to promote their arts programs, and a continuing education program, which provides scholarships for local students.
Michelle Bagstad, Festival Chair