An insider’s look at the upcoming Edmonds Arts Festival
Back in February, I joined the group of volunteers that puts on the annual Edmonds Arts Festival. The festival — this year June 17-19 — is something I look forward to every year, and I wanted to find a way to get more involved. The Edmonds Arts Festival is a fully volunteer-run event (if you are interested in volunteering they are still accepting help). The festival is the primary fundraiser that allows the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation to gift scholarships and grants in the community. Grants have provided more than $1 million to fund public art installations and large special projects.
The Edmonds Arts Festival has been held annually in June for more than 60 years now and has grown to be one of the most prestigious arts events in the U.S. It is amazing to see the scale of this event and then realize that it is produced entirely by community volunteers. I wanted to share with our readers a sneak peek of this year’s event and why it should be on your calendar.
1. More than 165 juried artist booths
This year more than 165 juried artist booths will be available to explore in the field area of the Frances Anderson Center. Visit the aptly named “streets” to find a new favorite artist. This is one of the most sought-after artist events and hundreds of artists apply for booth space. Take some time and see who was chosen through the juried selection this year.
2. Student art
Student art featuring the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation scholarship winners and high school students from the Edmonds School District will be available to view inside the Frances Anderson Center. Come see what the next generation of artists are doing and get inspired.
3. Performing arts
The Main Stage has an amazing lineup of musicians to entertain all day long. Check out the schedule and plan ahead for your favorite bands. There are a mix of local groups and musicians from all over the Northwest.
4. Food booths
Everyone’s favorite, the food! There will be a variety of yummy food to eat when you need to take a break from the art and music. Plan ahead for every meal by finding your favorite or trying something new.
5. Free parking
This year’s free parking will be available at the Edmonds College, located at 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood. There is a free shuttle van service provided. The shuttle vans are not wheelchair-accessible; however there is accessible parking on Dayton Street in the lot between the Frances Anderson Center and the Edmonds Public Library. For parking information and maps, click here.
6. Festival store
7. Gallery art
8. The NEW Edmonds Plaza
This year features a new section on the plaza above the library that is dedicated to Edmonds. Check out local authors and songwriters on the small stage, and local artist booths. The Edmonds Plaza is dedicated to showcasing the amazing talents of our community.
9. The pre-party!
If you can’t wait until the festival opens, then buy a ticket to the Celebrate the Arts pre-party where you can get first viewing of the art, enjoy live music and enjoy food and cocktails. This event is age 21-plus and there are limited tickets left. So purchase today and join in the fun on Wednesday, June 15 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.. on the Edmonds Library plaza. Tickets are $75 when purchased ahead of time and $100 at the door. All proceeds support the arts rough instructional grants, scholarships and public art.
10. Support artists
What I have learned volunteering for this event is how hard our community works to create a space for art in our city. The passion and hours put into this event, and into ensuring the Foundation can support art all year long, are impressive and it is a tradition that I hope will continue for a very long time. The Edmonds Arts Festival has been around over 60 years and is a mainstay in our community. Subscribe to the Arts Festival newsletter to get updates directly in your inbox.
Hope to see you there!
— By Rachel Gardner
Rachel Gardner has a heartfelt appreciation for art in all forms and believes everyone is an artist, some just don’t know it yet. A dedicated and involved Edmonds resident, she can often be spotted onstage cracking jokes between sets or in the audience enjoying local live performances. She enjoys being playful with her art and finding unique ways of expression, like forming a boho-grunge-folk ukulele trio with local Edmonds moms.