Thousands of people found a relaxing place to look at art, watch presentations, listen to music and enjoy culinary delights at the Boardwalk Arts Fest at the Port of Brookings Harbor over the weekend.
"We tried to make it as stress free as possible," said Dori Blodgett, chair of the organization committee.
Blodgett and a team of volunteers sprang into action after it was announced that the Festival of the Arts, which was scheduled during the same weekend, had been canceled. She and several others didn't want to be without a summer arts event. They contact artists, vendors and businesses offering services. As a result, total of 70 artisans came together to set up booths and sell their crafts and services. A few gave demonstrations.
Beads and supplies were set up at a self-service craft table originally intended for children, but which attracted as many just adults who tried their hand at making bracelets and necklaces.
"There weren't as many kids this year," Blodgett said.
As for the overall attendance, Blodgett added, "I have no idea." There are no gates to keep a count and people were free to come and go. However, she said the crowds were steady the whole weekend.
Because dogs were not allowed in the festival, the South Coast Humane Society had a pet-sitting area. In addition, the animal rescue group had its new mascot greet people. With the help of shelter volunteer Ellis Bartreau, ballots were passed out so people could have the opportunity to name the mascot.
Barteau's wife, Audrey Morris-Bartreau, shelter manager, said the name selection will be announced at the Dog Days Afternoon event at the port boardwalk on Sunday, Aug. 28.
She said a lot of people have suggested naming the mascot after their pet. For information about entering the naming contest, contact the shelter at 541-412-0325. The winner will receive a $25 Fred Meyer gift certificate.
Also on hand at the festival was a booth raising funds to pay for information signs along the boardwalk. The signs provide information about the March 11 tsunami and the fishing fleet.
The signs were placed by participants of a Ford Institute Leadership Program class. Donations for the signs, placed at Brookings and Crescent City, can be made by sending a check to the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, 879 J St., Crescent City, CA 95531.
People attending the festival found the event a success but, according to Blodgett, this will be the only time the Boardwalk Arts Fest will happen.
The Festival of the Arts is expected to return in 2012 at a new location.