The Creative Arts Guild presents its 56th annual Festival of Fine Arts and Artisan Crafts on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22, preceded by a ticketed Taste of Dalton/Festival 2019 Preview Party event on Friday, Sept. 20.

Festival is a yearly celebration of the Guild's mission of bringing art and arts experiences to the area and making them available to everyone. The event, intended as a gift to the community, is free and open to the public. First presented in 1963 by the newly formed Creative Arts Guild, Festival continues to be a true family activity and a wonderful way for everyone to enjoy the arts.

Festival 2019 weekend starts Friday evening with the ticketed Taste of Dalton: Festival 2019 Preview Party. The party offers guests a first look and purchase opportunity in the Outdoor Artist Market and the juried Indoor Exhibit. Guests will also sample delicious fare from 23 great Dalton restaurants, and enjoy live light music.

Festival weekend continues on Saturday and Sunday. The Indoor Exhibit in the galleries and the Outdoor Artist Market on the Guild's covered Spigel Pavilion showcases the work of fine artists and artisans Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to both the Indoor Festival Exhibit and the Outdoor Artist Market, Festival 2019 features ongoing multicultural arts activities and performances for kids, unique and delicious food, live music and self-guided tours of the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden. On Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Sculpture Garden, Festival attendees are encouraged to take part in a special meditative event "Awaken" (simple yoga that everyone can participate in). Admission to the Indoor Exhibit, Outdoor Market and all the daytime activities is free and the event is always family-friendly.

For more information or to purchase Taste of Dalton: Festival 2019 Preview Party tickets, visit; for ticket purchase assistance, call (706) 217-6677.

Fine arts and artisan crafts

On Sept. 20-23, the Guild's Festival 2019 features a variety of live music, kids' and multi-cultural activities and dance and gymnastics exhibitions, and a bike parade; however, it is most importantly an exhibit and market of high-quality arts and crafts. It is one of the most important ways the organization annually offers enriching art experiences to the community as intended in its mission. Event-goers will view an array of fine art and crafts. It's the perfect place to purchase unique and beautiful items for holiday gifting or personal collecting.

A juried Indoor Art Exhibit will be displayed throughout the Guild's three galleries. All of the works in this exhibit will be available for purchase. Both the Indoor Exhibit and the Outdoor Artist Market (on the covered Spigel Pavilion) will feature an array of art media and methods: jewelry, pottery, painting, folk art, wood, fiber arts, adult and children's wearables, bags, basketry, glass, metal, photography, sculpture and more. Those attending the ticketed Festival 2019 Preview Party and Taste of Dalton on Friday evening will have exclusive first opportunity to view and shop the exhibits and market before the public opening on Saturday morning.

Loads of activities

for the kids

In addition to fine arts exhibits and artisan markets, Festival offers great activities for families and kids. Event planners have put together a full schedule of games, arts and crafts projects, live music and special performances including dance and gymnastics demonstrations. There will be a pedestrian and bike (decorate your own) parade Saturday morning, yard games for all ages, a "Children's Art Market" for kids only, an hourly "Story Time" by the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library; a Home Depot Kids Workshop Saturday morning, and a "Dogs of the World" parade on Sunday.

• Children's Hill: Much of the fun will be happening on Children's Hill, an outdoor area with a covered performance tent. In addition to games and music, the event planners are expanding on last year's very popular multi-cultural theme. Expect colorful tents celebrating history and traditions from around the world, especially some cultures prevalent in our community: Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, India and Mexico. Tents, set up with an artistic flair, will feature those countries and have crafts and cultural experiences pertinent to each locale.

• "Traveling" through a melting pot of cultures: When kids arrive at Children's Hill, they will receive a Guild "Passport" inspiring them to travel from tent to tent and activity to activity. At each country, they will receive a special stamp in their passport denoting their "visit" to that country. The event planners' intention is to highlight and celebrate the rich cultural melting pot our area reflects and offer cool and fun learning experiences for kids. Expect unique performances by various "countries" throughout Festival weekend.

• Dogs of the World Parade: All well behaved and leashed dogs are invited to the parade on Sunday at 4 p.m. Dogs (and owners, too, if they wish) should wear a flag or garb of the country from which the breed hails or chooses to represent. Dog biscuits will be provided.

Lots of live entertainment

Every year, Festival includes live entertainment in addition to the fine arts and artisan crafts, kids' and multicultural activities, and food. This year's agenda is no exception. Live music performances start Friday night during the Festival 2019 Preview Party and Taste of Dalton. Singer-songwriter Jimmy Dormire plays downstairs at the entry point to the Outdoor Market Preview and the Alan Wyatt Quartet entertains the artists and guests as they make their way upstairs to the Galleries.

Then throughout the day, both Saturday and Sunday, Festival will feature music by regional bands. Playing on Saturday: David Pierce and Cynthia Wilson, David Rogers, Luke Simmons, Rome Area Flute Ensemble, Sarah Murray and Songbirds. Playing on Sunday: Barbaric Yawps, Ben Honeycutt, Connor Priest Band, Joseph Blake Evans and the Sneary Family Band. Surprise performances by Guild music students and others are being planned. Also on the list of special entertainment will be a series of spoken word performances performed throughout the galleries by members of the Dalton Area Writers Group.

Two special shows, featuring the Guild's students, are not to be missed: On Saturday at 2 p.m., Ballet Dalton will present dance selections from "The Snow Queen," the Guild Dance Department's annual fall ballet. The dancers will also perform other ballet and contemporary works by Guild Dance Program staff and guest instructors. Then on Sunday at 2 pm., the Guild Gymnastics students will present an exposition of their skills. This is a great chance for kids to see what dance and gymnastics are all about.

Taste of Dalton:

Preview Party

Festival 2019 Taste of Dalton: Preview Party is from 7 to 9 Friday evening. At this ticketed event, you can sample delicious food from two dozen local restaurants, sip cold beverages, listen to live jazz and get the very first peek at (and chance to purchase) excellent art works from the Festival Indoor Artist Exhibit and also be the first guests to visit the Outdoor Artist Market.

A great lineup of restaurants are participating this year: Baja Coop, Buckin' Burrito, Cafe Ostro, Cherokee Brewing + Pizza Co, Chelsea's on Thornton, Chop Shop, Cyra's, Dalton Golf & Country Club, Dos Bros, Edible Arrangements, Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, La Esperanza Bakery, Las Palmas, Native Kitchen, Real Food Company, Sol de Mayo, Spinning Room, Sugar Mama's Bakery, The Farm, The Filling Station, TK Wingz, Walnut Hill Farm and maybe more.

During the Preview Party, there'll be music in the air as Jimmy Dormire performs downstairs on the Pavilion and the Alan Wyatt Quartet entertains upstairs.

"Taste of Dalton" tickets are $55 per person. Order your tickets at or drop by the Guild's offices at 520 W. Waugh St.

Festival 2019 sponsors

The Creative Arts Guild is indebted to these generous major sponsors: Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group, Marketing Alliance Group, Textile Rubber and Chemical Company, and Engineered Floors.

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