Edmonds Arts Festival Party draws record crowd

Edmonds Arts Foundation officials (L-R) Denise Cole, Beth Sanger and Kirsten Paust show off local artist Bear Carpenter’s original art for the annual Arts Festival poster, and a community-created fingerpaint.– both available at auction to benefit the arts foundation.

The annual Edmonds Arts Festival kicked off in style Wednesday evening with the traditional Arts Festival Party, where attendees had the opportunity to view and purchase original art from several juried galleries. According to Edmonds Arts Foundation officials, 550 tickets were sold — 200 more than last year — making this the biggest kickoff party in recent history.

Student art from local schools is a traditional part of the juried competition and is viewable in several galleries on the lower level of the Frances Anderson Center.

Juried art was also available to view – and purchase – in several main floor galleries.

After viewing the art, attendees were invited to move to the Library Plaza for gourmet appetizers, delectable desserts and fine beverages while listening – and dancing – to a varied selection of rock and roll performed by the Dogtones.

But the big reason for coming this year – and all years – is to celebrate and support the arts in Edmonds and participate in the opening event of the annual Edmonds Arts Festival.

Larry Carpenter and Dave Buelow pause for a photo.
Tana Axtelle and Port of Edmonds Executive Director Angela Harris.
The youngest attendee was 3-month-old Kaia, who couldn’t resist a peek-a-boo look at the camera.
Kathy Wallace and Edmonds sculptor David Varnau break the ice on the dance floor.
Erika Barnett of Salish Sea Brewing pours a cold one for a happy customer.
As the sun went down the music picked up and dancers filled the floor joined by photographer Amanda Thornton-Dewitt.

A couple breaks away from the crowd to appreciate the sunset from the library patio.

The festival will run Friday through Sunday, is free to attend, and in addition to the galleries in the Frances Anderson Center will include hundreds of artist booths where visitors can purchase original works by Northwest artists including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, garden art, clothing and much more.

More information is available here.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

  1. As someone who has attended the Patron’s Party for decades, it appeared that the organizers were overwhelmed by this year’s record crowd. Sadly, the organizers didn’t adjust their event plan to accommodate the larger crowd. Patrons actually had to wait in a long line just to walk up the stairs in the Frances Anderson building to get to the juried art exhibits in the gym and other gallery rooms. Outside, there was a long line for the buffet that extended all the way back to inside the Plaza Room. The catering staff couldn’t keep up with keeping the buffet stocked, especially the sliders which came out about 20 sliders at a time, and that was to just one side of the split buffet line – much to the aggravation of patrons in the other line. There were too few bar height tables for patrons to use, forcing standing patrons to somehow balance their drink & plate while eating the fork heavy food. What was good – the band Dogtones, the wonderful cocktails provided by Kelnero’s, the Terry & Lara Vehrs “Love Where You Live” tote bags, and the sunny, but cool & dry weather.

    1. As a member of the team that put on this event thank you for your feedback. We’ve got some work to do to improve flow and cut down on lines. We want to thank you and the community for sticking with us and helping us raise a record amount of money for arts education and scholarships for our kids in Edmonds!

    2. This sounds like a comment for the organizers of the party, not for the local news shedding light on a fun, community event.

  2. What a great event…loved the music, food, art and rock and roll ambience of the dance floor!

  3. I just want to give a huge shout out to the excellent work the people do who put on this event! The Edmonds Arts Festival & the Party is completely volunteer run and if people have complaints, perhaps they should roll up their sleeves and join the volunteers next year!

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