by Tess Eyrich
One of Laguna Beach’s most beloved traditions, Festival of Arts, celebrates its 85th anniversary with a revamped facility and a slate of new creative offerings.
When an artist named John Hinchman mobilized a group of fellow local craftsmen to stage Laguna Beach’s first Festival of Arts back in 1932, he couldn’t possibly have predicted it would someday bloom into the kind of first-class creative gathering that attracts roughly 250,000 visitors each year. Now, with the annual event’s July 5 opening date on the horizon, organizers are ready to mark the juried festival’s 85th anniversary. The summerlong celebration will kick off with the debut of several new all-ages programs and the unveiling of one incredible piece de resistance: the festival’s reimagined facility, which recently underwent a period of sweeping renovations at a cost of $10 million.
But even with a refreshed look, one thing will remain the same: “True to its roots, the festival’s goal is to create events and activities that appeal to a variety of different audiences,” says Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and public relations for both Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. “There’s something for everyone.”