And the Anacortes Arts Festival is a third. There are those who consider this to be the best arts festival in Washington. If scenic setting were the #1 criteria for that distinction, Anacortes is easily the best.
Anacortes is on an island, called Fidalgo. It is easy to get on Fidalgo Island, via several bridges, like the Rainbow Bridge in La Conner, the Deception Pass Bridge from Whidbey Island or the bridge on Highway 20 by the Swinomish Indian Casino. I think that one is called the Duane Berentson Bridge.
From Anacortes the view of the Cascade Mountains, to the east, is a view you do not get closer to the mountains, such as from Mount Vernon. For instance, Mount Baker seems to loom higher and larger, when viewed from Anacortes. The only jarring note regarding the view of Mount Baker from Anacortes is there are a couple refineries processing Alaska crude that were built decades ago on March Point.
Back to the Anacortes Arts Festival.
It is big. This year, on August 6, 7 and 8, over 260 booth artisans will fill 6 blocks of Commercial Avenue, from 4th to 10th street. These artists come from all over the country, with the most popular artists invited back via a jury process based on quality, marketability and originality.
One time I got to sit with one of the artists in one of the booths. That was fun. The artist I got to sit with was known as Miss Janice. Miss Janice and I were having fun visiting, I guess because we had not seen each other since the night before, at a class reunion. Well, one of Miss Janice's customers thoroughly took us to task for being rude vendors. It was a memorable moment.
Pre-Anacortes Arts Festival Activities begin July 23 with a Concert Series. The Fine Art Opening is July 30. The Art Dash Run is Saturday, July 31.
This will be the 49th Anacortes Arts Festival.
Categories to be judged include
- Painting, Photography, Prints, Drawings
- Basketry, Gourds
- Candles, Soap, Floral, Body Therapy
- Ceramics, Clay, Pottery, Tile
- Fiber Art, Paper Art
- Food Products
- Glass, Jewelry
- Metal, Sculpture, Yard Art
- Wearable Art, Leather
- Wood, Furniture, Mirror
Among the food vendors you will find B & M Italian Concessions, Bangkok Bistro, Cousins Gourmet, Crepealicious, Deception Cafe, Delicious Asia, Fleetwood Espresso, India Grill Restaurant, Irishman Enterprises, Jak Be Grilling, Janey's Pies, Kornman of Washington, La Jitana Lebanese, La Jitana Salmon, Lahaina Layers, Lopez Island Creamery, Nadya's Greek Cuisine, Paige Lizbeth's Handmade Caramel Corn, Pioneer Popcorn, Ray's Food, Shishkaberry's, Smokey's BBQ Grill and Ziegler's Bratwurst Haus.
At the Island Eatery Zone you will be able to find sno-cones, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos, chili, New York style Italian sandwiches, seafood, French crepes with a fresh foodie twist, eclectic, high quality Northwest cuisine, freshly grilled sizzling chicken, espressos, drinks, smoothies, East Indian curry, pizza and pannini sandwiches, fruit, vegetable & meat pies, pulled pork, vegetarian alternative snack food, authentic Lebanese style food, wild salmon, three layer smoothies, locally made gourmet ice cream, traditional Greek food, caramel corn made with natural ingredients, Kettle Korn, Chinese pot stickers and chow mein noodles, chocolate dipped fruit on a stick, slow cooked BBQ, freshly made donuts, Cajun-American with an international flair, hand-dipped ice cream bars and authentic German sausages.
You will also find a Beer Garden at the Anacortes Arts Festival. The Beer Garden is located on 3rd Street in the center of the Island Eatery Zone, across from the Main Stage. You will find a variety of domestic and Northwest micro-brews, plus wine and water. On Friday and Saturday the Beer Garden is open from 11-7. On Sunday the hours are 11-5.
I do not know if I am going to be able to make it to the 2010 Anacortes Arts Festival. I am currently about 2,200 miles from Anacortes. If I were within 100 miles I would go for certain.