The first art festivals were annual events that took place near medieval universities, when artworks by students executed for heresy were auctioned to the cheering public. Visit a modern-day, nonviolent equivalent with today's Groupon: for $4, you get a one-day adult general-admission ticket (up to a $7.75 value) to the Sawdust Art Festival, held on a beautiful, three-acre eucalyptus grove in Laguna Canyon. The festival runs daily until Sunday, August 28.
With more than 200 local artists and an annual draw of more than 200,000 visitors, the nine-week, nonjuried Sawdust Art Festival attracts a horde of creative talents who converge on Laguna Beach armed with crafts, art glass, jewelry, clothing, textiles, paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and photography. Each year’s selections are as varied as the craters of the moon—though much more evenly spaced—and promise a full day of walking entertainment and sightseeing. Consult the calendar of events to plan your day, or wander randomly and trust random chance to see you through.
Laguna Beach residents receive free admission with ID on Thursday evenings after 5 p.m. and all day on the first Friday of each month. All military and their family are admitted free with military ID.