Despite the fact that I run a website dedicated to the arts and have been living in Southern California for over a decade now, it still took me until recently to visit the famous Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters event that’s held each year in Laguna Beach. Surprising not only because of the two reasons I already mentioned, but also because I’ve known about the event (and have wanted to go) since long before I moved to this state and also because I live somewhat close to where it’s held.
I’m so glad I finally made it: the art work is excellent, the artists are friendly, the crowds are cool, the pageant production was both interesting and humorous, and the pageant’s outdoor venue is beautifully nestled inside a canyon surrounded by tall pine trees. If you don’t feel like fighting the crowds during intermission, you can just stay in your seat and gaze up at the twinkling stars while sipping your wine.
Oh and did I mention they let you bring in your own food and alcohol? Yep, very nice. Although they also have great foodie-approved eats and a decent wine bar available, if you don’t feel like dragging around your mini cooler all night.
The festival started back in 1932 and is currently celebrating its 85th year in existence. It’s also debuting its newly renovated exhibit space and grounds this year. The festival and pageant are run by a large board of directors made up of local artists and art lovers elected by a membership committee and rely heavily on volunteers for their stage productions and art shows.
If you‘re not familiar with the Pageant of the Masters portion of the event, I suggest you head over to their website for all of the details and inside views. It’s a truly amazing theatre experience unlike anything I’ve watched before. Image your favorite works of art coming to life and you’d be kind of close to understanding it.
Photography isn’t allowed inside the pageant venue, or I would have snapped some shots to share with all of you. That said, I did get some images from the art show, which you can view below. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend attending the event. It runs through the beginning of September, so you have plenty of time, and it’s affordable, fun, and unique. Also, as far as I’m concerned, the mixture of art, theatre, food, and wine always makes for a good time.