By Lori Melton
The Festival of Arts Show in Laguna Beach has showcased the works of local artists and artisans in Orange County, California for more than 85 years. The world-renowned event is one of the most highly-lauded juried fine arts shows in the country. Visitors can browse through art exhibitions, attend art demonstrations and workshops, and enjoy daily art tours, live music, delicious food, special events and more.
The 2019 Festival of Arts runs from July 5 through Sept. 1. FOA tickets and multi-festival Passports to the Arts 2019 are on sale now. Whether you’re flying in from another location or driving up to experience the excitement, we’ve put together a handy guide to the 2019 Festival Arts in Laguna Beach below.
History and Location
The inaugural Festival of Arts launched in 1932 under the production of a local artist named John H. Hinchman. It took place during the span of two weeks in August in Downtown Laguna Beach, with no permanent location. The first “Living Pictures” were featured at the second annual FOA in 1933 in the “Spirit of the Masters Pageant.”
Bringing famous works of art to life in this groundbreaking way became a traditional FOA event, which evolved to become the current “Pageant of the Masters.” Each year the unparalleled live art showcase features a different theme and different works of art.
Today, the Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters is held at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Get directions, parking and shuttle information and weekend bus service information here.
Hotels and Lodging
If you’re traveling to FOA from out of town or just want to spend several days taking everything in, there are plenty of conveniently-located hotel and lodging options. Laguna Beach is a popular coastal destination, so there are a wide range historic and new hotel choices to suit every traveler, including kid-friendly and pet-friendly places.
For example, the quaint Laguna Brisas beachfront hotel is located on the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway just “99 steps to the beach.” You’ll also find resorts, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and more by browsing the extensive hotel list on the Visit Laguna Beach website.
Delicious Dining Options
With so much to explore, you’ll likely work up an appetite during your Festival of Arts visit. When you want to grab a bite, there are plenty of palate-pleasing dining options at and around FOA.
Terra Laguna Beach is situated on the festival grounds. The scenic eatery offers California cuisine featuring farm fresh produce and tasty dishes crafted from “ethically-sourced meats and cheeses.” If you’d prefer casual grab-n-go food, Gina’s Alfresco serves fresh-baked pizza-by-the-slice, Italian flatbreads, scrumptious salads, delicious desserts and more. There’s also a walk-up wine bar and you can choose to bring your own food and drinks and have a picnic in designated areas on the grounds. Check here for a list of entry restrictions.
Art Exhibits, Workshops and Special Events
Explore and discover one-of-a-kind works of art, sculptures, jewelry and more from more than 140 local artists, craftsmen and artisans, including dazzling junior exhibits from young artists. You can browse exhibits, meet artists, purchase items and even take a free guided art tour.
FOA serves up a fun, family-friendly atmosphere by hosting daily drop-in interactive art workshops. Class costs vary and are offered for adults, teens and youth. Tap into your creative side with one of the painting or ceramic classes and workshops or relax and listen to art talks. Kids can also enjoy a special art and story time. Live music and other special events are featured throughout the FOA schedule.
Pageant of the Masters
“The Time Machine” is the 2019 Pageant of the Masters theme. The show will lead audiences on a global quest to discover amazing art and stories from the past, present and future. You’ll experience “living art” like no other in a show that promises to be packed with “thrills, laughter, beautiful music and extraordinary living art.” The show runs nightly at 8:30 p.m. and advance tickets range from $15 – $240.
Tickets and Festival Passports
General admission tickets are just $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Discounted admission is offered for students and Seniors (62+) at $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Admission for kids aged 6-12 is just $5 anytime.
A one-price, one-pass Passport to the Arts 2019 runs for $29 and allows unlimited admission to Festival of Arts, Laguna Art-A-Fair and Sawdust Art Festival. The value-packed passport also includes free one-time parking at Act V parking lot, free shuttle service and savings at select local restaurants and shops. Buy or learn more about the passport here.