Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival this weekend

Coupeville is gearing up for one of its biggest weekends of the year.

The annual Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along the historic town’s waterfront.

A kickoff event is 7-10 p.m. Friday with a juried art gallery opening and wine reception at Coupeville Recreation Hall.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Artists from all different mediums will have work on display throughout the weekend.

The arts festival itself is a family affair, offering a wide variety of activities and interests for the entire family.

There will be a variety of food options including Thai, American, Greek and more.

Sweet treats such as handmade mini donuts, ice cream and snowballs will also be available.

The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce will offer a wine and beer garden as a fundraising event.

Food concessions will be located between the main parking area and artisan booths.

Entertainment and children’s activities are also in this area.

Childrens activities are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Activities will include T-shirt painting, face painting and other creative crafts.

Music will fill the air throughout the weekend.

Keeping with the integrity of the “hand-crafted only” festival, only bands who write and play their own music are accepted.

While there will be much opportunity to purchase art from vendors, there is also an opportunity to learn.

Artists throughout the festival will offer demonstrations and give visitors a chance to ask questions and interact as they work.

Demonstrations will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Some of the featured demonstrations will include colored pencil art, wire art, Native American wood carvings, basket weaving and water colors.

The Coupeville Festival was started in 1964 by Coupeville Merchants and other interested citizens. The goal at that time was to showcase the Coupeville community, its arts and to bring visitors to the area.

It became a means to revitalize the town, said festival President Mike Dessert.

Activities have changed over the years. During the first year a large batch of sassafras beverage was offered festival-goers, but it wasn’t successful, Dessert said. It didn’t return in following years.

Proceeds from the festival go back into the community in the form of grants for various projects and programs.

To date, more than $500,000 has been returned to the community, according to event organizers.

Past grants included seed money to start the Coupeville Arts Center, purchase of the Coupeville Library property, participatory grant for the public access stairway on Front Street, Coupeville Garden Club’s flower barrels lining Main Street, freezer and vehicle for Gifts from the Heart Food Bank, Penn Cove Water Festival, National History Day Student projects, Arts & Antiques Walk publicity, Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association, Admiralty Head Lighthouse restorative projects, Boys and Girls Club art projects, numerous school projects, Whidbey General Hospital Foundation and Coupeville Farmer’s Market.

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