11th Aug, 2012

Alabama Eastern Shore Real Estate and Fairhope’s Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

Fairhope AL homesThe 60th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival created a positive impact for the Mobile Bay suburb of Fairhope Alabama real estate. Fairhope experienced record attendance, filling 2,000 hotel rooms on the Eastern Shore. Many residents of Fairhope AL homes – along with other homeowners on the Eastern Shore and north to Mobile real estate – opened their hearths for the event.

Organizers estimate that approximately 300,000 festivalgoers milled around hundreds of exhibits and beautiful Downtown Fairhope properties during the vibrant event. About 275,000 attended in 2011.

Several elements contributed to the tremendous success. Thousands of azaleas in full bloom, lively music, great entertainment, unique cuisine and other special features set the backdrop a fun-filled long weekend. Over 230 exhibitors hailing from the South and throughout the nation transported their best works of art to exhibit and sell at the prestigious juried show.

Thousands of dollars in prize money and numerous honors were awarded. Categories for the awards included Best of Show Overall, Chairman’s Award, Chambers Award, Awards of Distinction, and Jury Award, Eastern Shore Art Award of Excellence, Alabama Bureau of Tourism Award, Merit Awards, and dozens of Patron Awards.

Mobile Alabama Skyline at NightThe Alabama Bureau of Tourism and the Southeast Tourism Society selected the annual Fairhope event as one of the Top 20 held in the entire Southeastern USA during March. Sunshine Artist Magazine voted the festival in the Top 100 Best Predominantly Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows in the nation.

Participants shared memorabilia such as the event poster, special T-shirt, and limited-edition signed print depicting the Festival artwork with friends and family back home.

The event is organized by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, the City of Fairhope, and the Festival Committee. It is presented by the master-plans community Fairhope Falls. The event began as a weeklong tour in February 1952 planned to coordinate with The Mobile Jaycees Azalea Trail and Mobile Mardi Gras celebration. All exhibits were indoors.

By 1965, the event expanded to include exhibitors and activities from Spanish Fort and Daphne with 41 artists and 4150 visitors participating. By 1997, the then-condensed 3-day festival was named one of the Top 200 in the United States.

During the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival, a variety of other complementary events are held nearby: Volksmarch Club’s Annual Outdoor Art Show; the 20th Annual Fairhope Train Show; the 34th Annual Spring Fever Chase and its 10K and 2-mile races; and pet adoption at The Haven.

Next year’s event, the 61st Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope/Baldwin County, will be held March 15-17, 2013.

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