Despite the Bay Bridge closure and other major holiday events in the Bay Area, the art-and-music crowd is flocking to this year's bayfront Sausalito Art Festival, which wraps up its 61st year today.
You have one more chance to see the dazzling artwork of more than 250 artists from around the country, stroll the grounds set along sailboat-crowded Richardson Bay, sip fine wine, Moet champagne and Stella Artois from glass chalices, and enjoy live music in a sun sheltered outdoor arena. Today's line up includes the Dani Paige Band, Tainted Love, and two favorite bands from the '80s: The English Beat and the Psychedelic Furs. A smaller stage offers classical, jazz and swing/jazz music and a children's entertainment area delights the little ones with magician Marshall Magoon, the Magic Circus Family Show and Tim Cain.
There's an almost endless variety of high quality artwork to see, and a chance to meet and chat with the artists directly. Among the booths I visited on Saturday: local Marin artist Tom Killion, whose wonderfully colorful woodcuts of Marin and Sierra Nevada landscapes have a strong local following; Donny Hahn, a talented plein air painter from South San Francisco; Kathleen Lipinski, another Marin artist whose highly detailed, glowing paintings capture Marin's iconic natural landscapes; and Kelli Knack, who creates dreamy, hand colored silver gelatin photographs capture coastal and beach scenes. Stroll the aisles and you will find sculpture, paintings, large scale photographs, hand turned bowls, hand crafted jewelry, wearable art, and much more.
Also worth visiting is the large tent just past the entrance to the festival, where a 120-foot brigantine is about to built by a team of tall ship enthusiasts. You can see the huge milled planks from Mendocino forests that will form the ship and meet the craftsmen who will recreate the classic Matthew Turner design from the late 19th century. The vessel will be the first tall ship built in the Bay Area in over 80 years. (The keel-laying ceremony for the ship will be on October 19 from 1PM-3PM.)
Today's festival hours are from 9AM to 5PM. General admission is $25 adults, $15 for seniors age 62 and up, $5 ages 6-12 and free for ages 6 and under.