Compared to some of the more exclusive keys along the Gulf Coast, Anna Maria Island is often referred to as the friendly island, where visitors are welcomed to join locals in relaxed enjoyment of this wonderful Florida season. There is no better way to do this than at the festivals that support the Anna Maria Island Art League. There is no admission charge for festival visitors, even though these festivals raise most of the funds that keep the Art League in operation.
The Art League is a modest, but charming, art center in downtown Holmes Beach, where a wide variety of art by island and area artists is presented throughout the year. Classes are taught there, too. Most of the funding for this special island facility and organization comes from two festivals held every year: Winterfest, in December, and Springfest, which is coming up this weekend, on March 14 and 15.
On Saturday morning, the field by the Holmes Beach Police department will be transformed into a friendly village. The lines showing the location for all the visiting artists’ booths already have been carefully marked out on the ground. Cajun and bluegrass music will be performed. A nice selection of local foods will be offered in the food court. Tickets are purchased and then can be used for any of the food sold by local vendors. A portion of the proceeds from the food ticket sales goes to support the Art League.
Visitors of all ages enjoy these festivals, whether it is to buy special artistic gifts, to visit with other people, or to entertain the kids. At this Springfest there will be a hands-on activity area where kids can make their own art. There will be a special exhibit of art by young people, called “Young at Art.” There will be prize drawings for art by local artists, and t-shirts designed by Cortez artist Linda Molto will be for sale.
This weekend, for the 21st year, the Anna Maria Island Art Leagues’ Springfest will offer some wonderful fine arts and fine crafts, as well as great food and music. If you are anywhere near the island, it’s definitely worth a visit.