The Sawdust Festival is one of three summer-long art festivals in Laguna Beach, California. Compared to the original juried Festival of Arts and Art-A-Fair next door, the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is the art fair for the masses.
Over 200 artists from Laguna Beach exhibit and sell their arts and handicrafts during the nine weeks of the Sawdust Festival. There are many more budget-friendly works of art for sale, so you don't have to covet from afar. Unlike the art across the way, an average person can actually afford to take that painting, vase, wearable art or hand-crafted card home.
Multiple hands-on art activities for kids and adults are going on at any given moment. Three music stages provide that there is always live music even in the middle of a weekday.
Sawdust Festival Winter Fantasy
The Sawdust Festival also has a four-weekend winter festival from the weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend before Christmas.
Sawdust Festival Tickets
Unlike the Art-A-Fair, which gives you all-season access for the price of a day, the season pass for the summer Sawdust Festival is about 2.5 times the day price. This makes sense since there's a lot more going on every day at the Sawdust Festival. There is also an annual pass for a few dollars more that includes the Winter Fantasy festival.
This Passport to the Arts is a ticket that includes all three art festivals and one day of parking, which is an even better deal if you're planning multiple visits to the Sawdust Festival since it's only about $5 more than the season pass for the Sawdust alone.
The festival is open 12 hours a day, so the artists are not on hand all the time, so there is a central Art Sale Window where patrons can make purchases. There always seem to be some artists around, but If you really want to meet the artists, evenings and weekends have the most artists on site.
Food at the Festival
The Sawdust Festival has a variety of food vendors including Greek, tacos, deli, a bakery, saloon, coffee shop and popcorn vendor. There are tables and benches near the stage areas where you can enjoy your food.
The Sawdust Festival is located about half a mile from multiple pay parking lots ($8-12) in downtown Laguna and near the beach, and about 1/2 mile from the Act V parking lot ($7) up the canyon at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. There are free shuttles from both directions, or it's about a 10-minute walk. There is also metered parking ($1-1.25/hr, quarters only) right on Laguna Canyon Road if you happen to arrive really early.
One day of free parking at the Act V lot is included in the Passport to the Arts, so if you're planning to get the Passport, stop and get it before you park for the day. More on directions and parking.
Visiting the Sawdust Festival
The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival in Laguna Beach is a popular destination for Southern Californians every summer, with art at price points accessible to all.
Diverse Goods at the Sawdust Festival
The diversity of wares at the Sawdust Festival offers something for every taste.
Artists at Work at the Sawdust Festival
Artists like Susan Wade work on their art or craft on site at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, CA.
Meet the Artist at the Sawdust Festival
Artists are happy to talk to you about their work. Here, Robert Jones talks to visitors at the Sawdust Festival about his Raku ceramics.
Hands on Arts and Crafts at the Sawdust Festival
There are enough hands-on arts and crafts activities that visitors of all ages with an interest in getting their hands dirty can while away many hours testing out their creativity in a variety of mediums.
Made, Fired and Ready to Go
If you're planning on trying your hand at clay crafts while visiting the Sawdust Festival, get there early, so you have time to have your masterpiece fired on site before you go home. You can also pick it up the next day if you're in the neighborhood, or have it shipped to you for a price. There is often a small materials charge for clay crafts.
Art Glass by Bruce Freund
Art glass by Marcus Thesing (top) and Bruce Freund for sale at the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival in Laguna Beach, CA.
Live Music at the Sawdust Festival
There are three live music stages at the Sawdust Festival, at the Tavern, the Grill and the Main Deck pictured here.
Making Popcorn the Hard Way
Visitors watch a glass-blowing demonstration that ends in popcorn for all.