The Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope, an Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce event, has been honored by being chosen #43 of 100 of the Best Classic & Contemporary Crafts Shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine. This is the eleventh year the festival has been listed.

The ranking was published in the magazine’s September issue featuring 200 of the Best Shows in the nation - 100 of the Best Classic & Contemporary Crafts Shows and 100 of the Fine Art & Design Shows. This is the 21st year the magazine, which is the leading trade publication, surveyed and published its readers’ top-selling events.

The survey requests various pieces of information such as actual sales totals at top shows, the art medium, price range, attendance, etc. Entering all the information into a database created the results comparing shows held nationwide. In addition, the special comments and rankings were reviewed as well as state reports, audit cards and letters.

According to the festival planners, the 43rd place ranking among the top 200 shows is a true accolade of a direct response to the attitude of the community and the warmth displayed by its residents.

“We are so honored that over 230 artists and craftsmen choose to participate in our show,” said Jaca McLaren, chairman of the festival. “This is such a wonderful festival for such a small town. It’s amazing that we can bring so many people to the area. To be ranked so high in the nation really puts Fairhope on the map.”


She added that city lavishes tender loving care upon the show’s entry way and streets in anticipation, and merchants welcome the exhibitors with open arms, by inviting them to utilize their facilities by dropping by for a cup of coffee or using the rest rooms.

McLaren is one of over 50 volunteers who go beyond the call to make the exhibitors feel at home. High school groups comb through the crowds throughout the three-day even t to serve drinks and fruit and they also booth sit so exhibitors can take a well-needed break.

The Arts and Crafts Festival in Fairhope will be 64 years old in 2016. The festival takes place March 18, 19, and 20 in the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope, Alabama. The festival hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. This is a free art festival.

“Not only are we able to showcase the hospitality and beauty of Fairhope and the entire Eastern Shore, we are extremely proud that our festival has such an economic impact (an estimated $8 million) each year,” said Darrelyn Bender, chamber president.

Last year the event attracted nearly 300,000 visitors to the area. This upcoming event will feature more than 230 exhibitors from throughout the U.S. More than $14,500 in prize money will be awarded to winning artists.

In addition, live local entertainment will take place on stage throughout the event, and classic festival foods will be served up to highlight the weekend.

For more information call the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce at (251) 621-8222.