Have you heard? The Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival is right around the corner!
And I can hardly believe that this is the 69th annual Arts & Crafts Festival to date! This wonderful gathering of skilled craftsmen truly is one of the best times of the year for our beloved town of Fairhope, drawing both vendors and attendees from even the northernmost parts of the country! There is nothing like the excitement in the air the evening before, as the streets start to be sectioned off and the tents start to go up. I never cease to be amazed at the wide variety of treasures on display for the three-day event…everything from hand-carved knives, beautiful wood or clay serving dishes, handcrafted amber jewelry, journals repurposed from upcycled vintage books, eye-catching paintings, life size photography, sculptures, and more than I can even name! Spread throughout the entire Downtown area, it can take a thorough shopper hours or even days to go through every booth. So it’s definitely a good thing that there are so many food vendors scattered throughout, including delightful snack stops like booths by Punta Clara Candy Kitchen and Fairhope Chocolate!
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Normally held the third weekend of March, the Festival was rescheduled to April 30, May 1, and May 2 due to Covid19. (No worries, there are certainly health precautions in place, including distancing of booths and sanitation stations throughout the festival.?) And one other change is that this year, there will only be vendors from Alabama. My family and I have come to the festival for years, but I did a little digging into the history and story of it, and I discovered quite a few things I never realized before! We all come and meander through the beautiful shops & booths, but I bet you didn’t know that the festival is actually comprised of two different art shows! The one we aren’t as familiar with is called the Outdoor Art Show, and is hosted by the Eastern Shore Art Center! Showcasing local artists, this part of the Arts & Crafts Festival is a huge benefit for the ESAC, allowing it to be open and free to the public year round! Some other things I didn’t know about the Festival is that there is a featured artist every year, and the proceeds from the event are poured back into the community, for recipients like the FHS Band, the Fire Department, or the Rotary Youth Club. Just one more thing I love about this town!
If you’ve never visited the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival, let this be the year that you do! Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Fairhope every year to be a part of this bustling event, and…truth be told, that is how many people discover that Fairhope is the dream town they never knew they wanted, and end up moving here! Regardless, this is definitely something you do not want to miss out on!