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While any day is a good day to go to the beach, the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is offering a great excuse to visit Pleasure Island in March — the 43rd annual Orange Beach Festival of Art is set for March 11 and 12. The festival will feature 100 booths of local and regional fine art, plus exciting acts on the Performing Arts and Music stages. Festival goers may also enjoy live visual arts demonstrations including hot glass and clay. They will also be able to savor tasty offerings from the Culinary Arts area and dive into fun hands-on experiences in the Kids Art Alley.

The festival is a fine arts, juried event held every second weekend in March on the joint grounds of the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach and Waterfront Park on Canal Road. Festival hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is completely free with public parking located at the Event Center at The Wharf. Shuttle service provided by BRATS with an all day pass for $5. Bike riders can park at the Bicycle Village on the Arts Center grounds.

New to the event this year is a Patron of the Arts program offered through the local Friends of the Arts group which provides financial support to the show. “Patron” purchases provide committed art purchasing dollars which lets the participating fine artists know they have solid support from the community.

With more than 100 artists working in a dazzling variety of mediums, festival-goers always have plenty to see, hear, touch, taste and smell as art vendors, musical performers and artist demonstrations deliver a multitude of sensory experiences.
The 2017 music line-up will include Roman Street, Three Bean Soup, Coconut Radio, Cornbred, and Shelby Brown from The Voice. Performing artists in multiple genres will be featured on the Performing Arts Stage with acts including Coastal Ballet Academy, martial arts demonstrations and the Foley High School steel band. Special guest this year performing on stage and moving among the crowds are the Excelsior Band playing Dixieland and conventional jazz music. For a full list of performers, visit the festival website at OrangeBeachArtsFestival.com.

Culinary selections featured at the festival offer gourmet flair, while still providing plenty of child-friendly options. Feast your eyes on beautifully presented culinary pieces while savoring the rich flavors of the Gulf Coast. Featured restaurants will include Bleus Burgers, Cosmo’s and Cobalt Restaurants, Shipp’s Harbour Grill, and Villaggio Grille.

In addition to the Culinary Arts section, the Specialty Foods Area will include The Meat Mart of Orange Beach, Two Sisters Olive and Grape, Little Angels Honey Farm, Rum Sisters, Willow Farms and Wolf Bay Coffee.

Kid’s Art Alley offers young festival goers plenty of hands-on fun. Children can dig their fingers into clay and bright paint, enjoy games, watch live demonstrations and take home their own works of art. Gulf State Park Nature Center and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo will offer children an up close look at wild animals.

Come experience Pleasure Island’s brightest and best at the 43rd annual Orange Beach Festival of Art March 11 and 12.
 
For more information, visit OrangeBeachArtsFestival.com  or call 251-981-ARTS (2787).

This project has been made possible by grants from the Alabama Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.