The only thing better than art is experiencing art al fresco in the summer. Stanwood is the place to do just that.
Over one hundred twenty booths line two blocks of the small seaside city of Stanwood every summer. The Stanwood Camano Arts Festival puts on “Summer Arts Jam”, a celebration of the arts with eighteen different visual arts categories. Only original works are permitted for display and sale, and the artists must be present for the three-day festival. This provides the attendee with the rare opportunity to browse unique pieces, meet the artists behind these creations, and take home a work of art that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Admission is free, and festival goers can enjoy the craft beer and wine garden, a kids' art area, live music, and a root beer float garden--something for everyone. Roughly 7,000 people attend each year.
It’s impossible to talk about the strength of the Stanwood/Camano arts scene without acknowledging the local arts guild. They’re the ones behind the multiple arts fairs that happen in this coastal city and neighboring island. You can buy local goods on the regular at the Guilded Gallery. Their slogan is “35 artists... one smart gallery”.
The Stanwood area is known regionally for the glass-blown sculptures produced by local artists. The famous Pilchuck Glass School (open by appointment only), founded by famed artist Dale Chihuly, is in this neck of the woods. The city puts on annual artist studio tours, and an August event called Art By The Bay, which features the work of over forty Arts Guild members.
Round out your visit to these arts celebrations with lunch or dinner at Polska Kuchnia Bistro (8620 271st St NW) the only authentic Polish restaurant in the greater Seattle area, and a drink at the Stanwood Motel and Saloon (26926 102nd Avenue NW), which has been in operation for almost one hundred years.
The arts are what gives this Coastal Community its personality. Visit beautiful Stanwood in the summer to marvel at all that’s glazed, painted, sculpted, sketched, or woven in this charming town.