Arts, crafts, crowds fill Coupeville

Coupeville residents Eva and Kate Larsen, both 2 and a half, push a wagon down Front Street during the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville residents Eva and Kate Larsen, both 2 and a half, push a wagon down Front Street during the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Thousands of people flowed into downtown Coupeville to enjoy one of the biggest festivals on Whidbey Island.

The Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival took place Saturday and Sunday and drew hundreds of artists from across the country who brought their paintings, jewelry, ceramics, fabric work and more to the festival that filled the historic downtown. Booths lined both sides of Front and Coveland streets.

“They have some great stuff that we’ve bought before,” Coupeville resident Bill Larsen said while his daughters, Eva and Kate, both 2 and one-half, pushed a red wagon through the festival. He noted some of the photography and tin work that was on display.

Coupeville resident Heather Lewis was visiting Due Vestro, the booth operated by Coupeville glass blower Lin Robertson. Lewis was watching her daughter, Briddie, search for a piece of glass that matched one she found last year.

“We love it. It’s mommy’s special day,” Lewis said about visiting the popular festival each year.

The festival also offered a chance for people to interact with local artists and watch them work. An “Artists in Action” area had painters, quilters, a basket weaver and a blacksmith who would visit with curious spectators while producing their work.

“It looks like I better make another tripod, I just sold it,” Lewis said after spending time talking with someone who, it turned out, was interested in making a purchase.

The festival also featured an art show. Just up from the artists booths was a food court where people could enjoy lunch while listening to live music in the lot behind the public library.

“It was a good, successful show,” said Mike Dessert, president of the Coupeville Festival Association. He thanked the sponsors and the efforts of the approximately 300 volunteers, including some help from the Navy, in putting on the festival.

He didn’t have any hard numbers available, but it looked like attendance was similar to last year’s festival. He noted that last year’s congestion problem, which included mile-long backups, had been solved. Festival organizers found additional lots and offered a free shuttle.

In its 48th year, the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival is one of the oldest, continuously operating events in the state. In addition to being a showcase for artists of all types, it is also a much needed fund raiser that benefits the Central Whidbey community. The Coupeville Festival Association, which organized the annual event, has doled out $720,000 to the community over the years in the form of grants and scholarships. Deadline for grant applications is Friday, Oct. 24 and winners will be announced Dec. 3 during a Coupeville Festival Association board meeting. More information about the grants can be found at

It was a busy weekend on Whidbey Island as the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival was just one of a number of events that took place. The Highland Games in Greenbank and the North Whidbey Car Show in Oak Harbor took place Saturday. Sunday featured the Fidalgo Avenue Block Party and Pig Roast that took place in downtown Oak Harbor.

The light-hearted events continue this week when the Whidbey Island Fair starts Thursday and continues through Sunday.


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