The Sawdust Festival is another must see day trip for families, it’s located in Laguna Beach, California. It's similar to the Festival of Arts for two reasons. They both are located in Laguna Beach, they both house local artists. The similarities stop there!!
The Sawdust was born over 40 years ago by artists in Laguna Beach who retaliated to the exclusion format of the Festival of Arts. The exclusion format is known as the Juried process. The Sawdust Festival is a product of the artistic revolution in Laguna Beach.
Characterized as “hippies”, these talented artists created a non juried art festival for locals to participate in. Their goal was simple - to allow talented local resident artists the opportunity to express their art and participate in a less stringent format.
Today, the Sawdust Festival is found almost directly across the street from the Festival of Arts. Once you know the story behind the two Festivals, you can only smile to know each has remained successful, each in their own way.
Celebrating and welcoming unrestricted art from local residents has remained a cornerstone for the Sawdust Festival. Their mission includes the continued education of the public. You can participate in workshops and demonstrations or take an “Artist Tour” or “Walkabout Tour” and learn more about the history behind the Sawdust Festival.
Enjoy a nice cold one, sit back and enjoy local bands playing at the Tavern or Main Entertainment Deck. Or taste test from a handful of little deli type restaurants located on either side of the grounds.
Spend time and browse the booths where you will find hand blown glass, jewelry, paintings and various other works of art. Many booths are tucked away near the bluff and by the waterfall. You may want to grab a map from the front entrance and use it as a guide so you don’t miss anything!
Various workshops and demonstrations are available for you to watch or participate in. Learn how to make ceramic pots, the art of painting, or basics in printmaking. Even with toddlers in tow – find something for everyone in the family!
Meet the artists, talk about their work or watch as they create a masterpiece in front of you. Most artists will take the time to discuss and show you their method of art, all you do is ask!
- Meet the Artist Tour – Docent led tour to various artists who interact with patrons and demonstrate their artistic methods while you visit their booth. FREE with admission!!
- Available Wednesdays 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Walkabout Tour - A 30 – 45 minute walking tour of the Sawdust Festival grounds. Learn extra bits of history, facts, and tidbits regarding the Festival! FREE with admission!!
- Available Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 pm
- For tours during the week – provide 72 hour advance registration by calling 949-497-0514 or 949-494-3030
- Call ahead to pre-schedule tours for 8 or more
Another cool thing about the Sawdust Festival is that you can visit throughout the year! The best time is during the Summer, the weather is great and you can go any day of the week! If you want to see the other sites in Laguna Beach, you can take the FREE trolley to the downtown area. Limited weekend days are available during Fall. It’s what the Sawdust calls “Autumn Art”. You can find workshops at the end of September and the beginning of October. Call for exact dates and times.
Do you need to find a holiday gift for that person who has everything? What about taking a day trip back to the Sawdust Festival? The annual ”Winter Fantasy” transforms the Sawdust into a holiday district of fun! You will find holiday entertainment and if you look hard enough your kids will even see Santa! The Winter Fantasy is for only four weekends. Typically the last two weekends in November and the first two weekends in December. Call for exact dates and times.
Are you looking for more hands-on experience and want to go to an art workshop? The Sawdust offers additional workshops for Jewelry Making, Glassblowing, Painting, Mosaic and more! Workshop days vary through January to March. Call for exact times and sign up info.
Sawdust Festival Tips
- Plan on staying a few hours (2 minimum) to enjoy the exhibits and talk with the artists
- Sign up early for hands-on art workshops – space and dates limited
- NOT stroller friendly! It’s called the Sawdust Festival for a reason… sawdust is laid out on the dirt pathways to cut down on dust levels. Paths are flat with slight inclines. Not very stroller or wheelchair friendly.
- If an artist is not at their booth and you want to purchase an item. Take it to the front entrance “sales booth”. You will be able to purchase your item there. Yes… the Sawdust artists in Laguna Beach still use the honor system!
- A handful of metered parking is located directly across from the entrance, but it fills up fast! If you are lucky to find a spot, make sure you fill up the meter. The Laguna Beach Parking Patrol is famous for giving tickets to expired meters!! Alternate parking located at Act V on Laguna Canyon Road. You can take the FREE trolley to the Festival.
- Hours – 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Open daily during Festival Season, typically opens at the end of June and ends at the end of August
- Adult Day Pass - $7.00
- Seniors - $6.00
- Children 6 -12 years -$3.00
- FREE for Laguna Beach residents every Thursday
from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
- FREE for kids under 5 – with adult
- Festival Summer Season Pass - $20.00
- Festival Annual Season Pass - $25.00
- General Information – 949-494-3030
- Address – 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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