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Photos and text by Breeana Greenberg

A wide variety of fine art was on display at this year’s ArtFest on Sunday, June 5. The event offered visitors a chance to shop for artwork ranging from sculptures, ceramics, glass art, jewelry, painting, resin art, drawings, photography, woodwork and metalwork.

A portion of Del Prado Avenue, between Amber Lantern and Violet Lantern was closed to motorists to allow the more than 60 participating artists to display their work.

Shwack Beach Grill and Luxe Martini Bar hosted beer and wine gardens on both ends of the street. Tacos4Troops food truck was stationed next to one of the two sound stages. The music stages featured performances by Phil Vandermost, Anthony Small, Andrew Lavin, Benny B & the Breakers, Randall Winvick Band and Iris & the Shade band.

After skipping the last two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ArtFest featured fewer artists than previous years as the organizing committee hoped to ease back into the event. Prior to Sunday, however, Mac McDonald, a member of the Dana Point ArtFest Organizing Committee, was cautiously optimistic about the event’s success.

This year was the first in which ArtFest took over the street, closing the section of Del Prado.

“I’m really happy about it,” said Cliff Wassmann, a fellow member of the organizing committee. “We’ve wanted to do this for years because the sidewalks are kind of tight.”

McDonald doubted that ArtFest will ever go back to the sidewalks.

“I think it’s going to be hard to go back to the sidewalk,” McDonald said. “It was so nice to have the whole street blocked off because it gave you more freedom of movement and seemed more wide open and inviting.”

The Lantern District seems to be brimming with energy as events like ArtFest and Redo Market were both held on Del Prado, Wassmann said.

“This whole area, when it was proposed, they talked about shutting down the streets for festivals and stuff,” Wassmann said. “So, it’s really starting to happen now with the new construction and everything. It’s really turning into a real downtown.”

McDonald said he hoped to keep expanding the event, wanting to take over another block or two of Del Prado next year.

“I think we have enough artists,” McDonald said Monday, June 6. “We have a lot of artists that want to get in, and perhaps were even inspired by yesterday.”

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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