The Anacortes Arts and Crafts Festival got its start in 1962 as the brain-child of Dr. Jack Papritz and a group of dedicated community arts patrons. The Idea came from Dr. Papritz’s European travels, specifically the Parisienne Montmartre – a French open-air cafe.
With the support of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, and $300.00 in seed money, the first festival in July of 1962 was billed as “the longest art display in the world”. In the 48 years since that simple beginning, the Festival has grown into one of the largest and most respected Festivals in the northwest.
The downtown streets fill with 250 outstanding juried Booth Artisans, Music on multiple stages, Culinary Art and beer garden featuring ethnic and regional tastes, and a creative Youth Area.
The north end of the Festival features Arts at the Port fine art with three exhibitions. Experience Art with demonstrating artists round out the north Commercial Festival events.
Dominating the heart of downtown, the Festival is easy for out of town visitors to find. Just consult our map and directions and the list of helpful links. See our Festival Map for an overview of the festival. During the Festival, knowledgeable volunteers can direct you and answer questions about the Festival from the Information Booth on 6th Street.
With a focus on arts education and public art, the Anacortes Arts Festival awards thousands of dollars annually; more than a quarter of a million dollars in arts grants over the past 10 years. Membership helps the 50 year old not for profit 501(c)(3) organization produce the largest annual event in Anacortes and fund the arts in the Anacortes/Guemes community.
Our organization includes a year-round staff and a working Board of Directors. We also depend on a dedicated production crew to set up and take down the 10-block festival, in addition to picking up after our 90,000 visitors.