If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Laguna Beach may not be the place for you. The last time the city got snow was back in 1949—and that was on January 11th. This year, with El Nino on the way, the best we can hope for is rain.
That’s not to say that Laguna Beach can’t pull off a festive holiday. The city is famous for its close-knit, communal atmosphere—a hallmark of the yuletide season. Nowhere is this so readily apparent as the Winter Fantasy Festival on the Sawdust grounds.
With carolers serenading you at the entrance, a white-bearded Santa Claus ready to greet eager children, and a live band playing a variety of holiday classics, it’s impossible not to be enchanted by the magical scene. The spirit is in the air.
The 25th annual winter incarnation of the Sawdust Art Festival also features more than 200 artists displaying their unique and varied art under the shady pines and eucalypts of Laguna Canyon. Whether your tastes (and budget) skew toward paintings, woodwork, photography, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, ceramics or blown glass—you’re sure to find something to put on your wish list. Or better yet, embrace the spirit of giving and shop for those you love.
One artist to keep your eye out for this year is Robert Holton (booth 231), whose personal story is just as enchanting as his unique pop art. When his wife passed away in 2003, Holton used painting to help him process his loss. As he states, “The great release of emotion I feel has helped ease the pain and allowed me to start enjoying life again.” Holton’s work riffs on vintage iconography like Mr. Potato Head and the board games of his youth. His hope is that these images bring nostalgic joy to those who see them.
Another must see artist is Nansea Williams (booth 307) whose unique hand-sewn pillows and dolls will put you in the cozy winter mood. Slow down to watch her sew these original creations, taking note of the sense of peace inherent to her artist process.
If you’re looking for something more directly representative of Laguna Beach, stop by Art Z.’s (booth 503) where the artist’s original photography is sure to inspire you to spend more time on the sand. Art’s images offer a newfound appreciation for the beauty of this city (and he does in it 3-d!).
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or visiting from out of town—The Winter Fantasy Sawdust Festival is a fantastic way to spend quality time with loved ones and get yourself in the Holiday Spirit.
No snow required.
November 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th & 29th from 10am-6pm
December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th & 20th from 10am-6pm