Laguna Beach Events: 10 Festivals That Celebrate the Area
Laguna Beach ranks as one of the top 5 Best Small Cities in the U.S., according to Conde Nast Traveler readers. Part of its charm is the diverse selection of signature festivals the area hosts each year. The city strives to honor arts, culture and history through showcasing what locals and visitors love most about this beach-town. Read on to learn about the top Laguna Beach events and celebrate in style:
Top 10 Laguna Beach Events: Find Art, Sports and More
Laguna Beach Music Festival
For more than 15 years, the Laguna Beach Music Festival has celebrated classical and contemporary musicians. The five-day event in February brings visitors together for concerts, community outreach and special events. Presented by Laguna Beach Live! and Philharmonic Society of Orange County, festival-goers will enjoy meet-and-greets, open rehearsals, live music, and family-friendly activities. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win exclusive prize packages created by local vendors and sponsors.
The Laguna Beach art scene has attracted both artists and art lovers for decades. In fact, the area is famous for its art community that celebrates diversity and culture through local and international talent.
As one of the top Laguna Beach events, Art-A-Fair runs from late June to early September and kicks off a full summer arts season. Visitors can walk among more than 125 artists, learn about their creative inspirations, and see mediums including paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, sculptures and more. Other things to do at the festival include adult artists workshops, daily cuisine and live entertainment on the weekends. One-time admission costs less than $10 per person, and Laguna Beach residents receive free admission with a valid ID.
Part of Art-A-Fair, the Sawdust Art and Craft Festival features more than 200 local artists. Sawdust focuses on fine art and crafts, including glass pieces, jewelry, ceramics, clothing and more. This festival also runs the entire summer and includes live entertainment and demonstrations. In addition, guests can schedule a two-hour class on Friday or Saturday and create art to take home. Those who plan on spending the summer in Laguna Beach should purchase the Passport to the Arts, which provides access to Art-A-Fair, Sawdust and Festival of the Arts.
Festival of Arts
Summer also brings the popular Festival of Arts, which occurs from early July to late August. Visitors can attend two events: Pageant of the Masters and the Festival Art Show. Pageant of the Masters ranks as a must-see. Here, see intricate sets full of art and people posing as their pieces, live music and narration, and 90-minute shows of living pictures showcasing classical and contemporary art. The Festival Art Show features 140-plus Orange County artists and workshops. For more than 85 years, this festival has showcased local art in various mediums, daily art tours, live music, events and on-site restaurants.
Laguna Dance Festival
For more than 10 years, international and national touring companies welcome guests to the Laguna Dance Festival. Each year, dancers and dance lovers flock to Laguna Beach to see world-class performances in theaters, art galleries and specific outdoor venues. With a focus on audience awareness and entertainment, check out performances in ballet, Broadway talent, hip-hop and more. Through attendance and donations, guests also have the opportunity to support one of the top art programs in the area.
Sports and water enthusiasts can’t miss the Victoria Skimboards World Championship of Skimboarding, a.k.a The Vic. Every August Aliso Beach Park brings together the world’s best skimboarders, thousands of spectators and big waves as athletes compete for the title. The event welcomes competitors of all ages with specific age groups ranging from under 8 years old to over 40. The Vic celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016 and offers family-friendly activities and lots of warm beach vibes.
Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational
In October, attend the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, which showcases top plein air landscape painters. The plein air process dates back centuries with a focus on open spaces and light-source changes. The nine-day event includes public paint-outs, demonstrations, PleinTalk and events for all ages. As one of the top plein air arts events in the U.S., don’t miss more than 35 artists from all over the country who dedicate their time to painting Laguna Beach landscapes.
Escape During the Holidays
With so many world-renown Laguna Beach events, holiday events are no exception. Those visiting during the Fourth of July can’t miss the annual fireworks show over the beach beginning around 9 p.m. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, visitors can shop the Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy and check out Hospitality Night every first Friday in December. Hospitality Night takes place in downtown Laguna Beach and features Santa himself, sing-alongs, school band performances and more festive activities.