WHEN? Sunday · March 17
We missed this event our first year here in 2008 and last year in 2012, but have attended every other year we've lived in South Baldwin County. It offers over 200 exhibitors from across the nation. Live entertainment is included, along with many booths offering food and refreshment. All of this takes place on the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope.
Admission is free to the festival, and the only expense for us was two dollars each way from the Piggly Wigley parking lot on BRATS (Baldwin County Area Transportation System), plus our food and drink at the festival itself. A person could spend lots of $$$ on many interesting and unusual items and some great art, but we curbed our appetite for spending.
About David Tate, the artist who painted this years artwork:
We wanted you to know about the artist who painted this year's artwork because David Tate is originally from Mississippi.
The Planning Committee for the 61st Annual Arts & Crafts Festival has selected the official artwork to be printed on festival posters and T-shirts. The artwork was created by local artist David Tate and features the most popular site and destination in Fairhope, the Fairhope Municipal Pier and rose garden. The impressionistic acrylic painting is bright and colorful and is a scene depicting the view of the pier from the Henry George Park on the bluff.
Tate’s work was chosen after a year of research by the committee to pick just the right work of art for the popular festival that brings an estimated 350,000 people to the downtown area for the three-day Eastern Shore Chamber event, which takes place March 15, 16 & 17.
"The moment I saw David’s work I knew that I wanted him to be this year’s festival artist,” said Debbie Floyd, festival chairman. “His paintings exhibit the calm and restful nature that exemplifies this wonderful little town called Fairhope. When I look at our poster, I can feel myself standing on the bluff with a summer breeze blowing through the trees. I hope everyone who sees it feels the same way."
“That is my favorite view,” said Tate. “I enjoy the sun sets and listening to the Baldwin Pops perform there.”
A native of Columbus, Miss., Tate and his wife, Rhonda moved to Fairhope in 2003. The couple has been married for 42 years, and they have two grown children and one grandchild. Tate did not pursue a career as an artist until retiring from the retail industry, moving to Fairhope and finally taking art classes locally. Although he knew at a young age he could draw, the inspiration developed upon moving to the haven for artists.
Tate said he spends many hours every day painting and has found his niche. His works are exhibited at the Fairhope Artists Gallery, "The moment I saw David’s work I knew that I wanted him to be this year’s festival artist,” said Debbie Floyd, festival chairman. “His paintings exhibit the calm and restful nature that exemplifies this wonderful little town called Fairhope. When I look at our poster, I can feel myself standing on the bluff with a summer breeze blowing through the trees. I hope everyone who sees it feels the same way."
“I’m excited about having my work selected for the official artwork this year,” said Tate. “It makes me feel good any time someone is interested in my work.” During last year’s festival Tate said he sold more than a dozen paintings. He will once again have new works on display during this year’s festival inside the Fairhope Artist Gallery, 18 S Section St Fairhope, AL 36532, (251) 990-8763.
Here's a very sentimental video that says much about the town of Fairhope.
Fairhope Song Video
The weather was beautiful and since it was St. Patrick's Day, there were many activities vying for attention and participation.
We left the festival in a mood to continue enjoying ourselves and stopped at Magnolia River Bar and Grill in Magnolia Springs before returning home.
Here's some photos from the day's activities Luck of the Irish