Creative Arts Guild's annual Festival features fun, food and art

File/Daily Citizen-News

Claudia Orth puts out necklaces at her bead art booth during last year's Creative Arts Guild Festival.

The Creative Arts Guild presents its 57th Annual Festival of Fine Arts and Artisan Crafts Saturday and Sunday, preceded by a ticketed "Festival 2020 Taste of Dalton: Preview Party" on Friday.

Festival is a yearly celebration of the Guild’s mission of bringing art and arts experiences to our area and making them available to everyone. It is designed as a gift to the community and 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. The celebration gets off to an exciting start Friday night with the ticketed "Festival 2020 Taste of Dalton: Preview Party."

Festival weekend continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; however, please note that from 10 to 11 a.m. on both days attendance is reserved for persons of vulnerable health or age.

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 and Sunday.

In addition to both the Indoor Festival Exhibit and the Outdoor Artist Market, Festival 2020 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. Admission to the Indoor Exhibit, Outdoor Market and all the daytime activities are free. The event is always family-friendly.

In-person attendance

Festival 2020 has been carefully planned to prepare for current health concerns so that we can safely gather and enjoy a celebration of the arts. In order to accommodate this, we have prepared guidelines for the weekend, which are posted on at

Here are some important points:

• Masks will be required. For anyone who does not have a mask, Creative Arts Guild logo masks will be sold for $20 per mask but free disposable masks will also be available as long as supplies last.

• Everyone will be checked for masks, temperature and COVID-19 symptoms before receiving a wristband for entry.

• Safe personal distancing will be observed throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces.

We thank you in advance for supporting these perhaps inconvenient but very necessary precautions so that everyone can enjoy the event if they attend in-person.

Festival Virtual Hub

For those who are not comfortable attending in person, we will be offering a virtual experience all weekend on our website and social media. Virtual Festival will include artist interviews, live-streams of performances, gallery tours and more. See more details and a full schedule on our website and Facebook.

Festival 2020 sponsors

The Creative Arts Guild is indebted to these generous major sponsors: Textile Rubber and Chemical Co., Marketing Alliance Group, Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group, City of Dalton, Georgia Council for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts. A full list of Festival 2020 sponsors may be viewed on our website.

Friday night's 'Taste of Dalton: Preview Party'

"Festival 2020 Taste of Dalton: Preview Party," from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, is the very best way to start your Festival weekend. At this 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. “Taste of Dalton” tickets are $55 per person; it’s not too late to reserve yours. Order your tickets online or drop by the Guild’s offices at 520 W. Waugh St.

Fine Arts and Artisan Crafts on Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday and Sunday, the Creative Arts Guild features a variety of live music, multi-cultural activities, activities for children, and dance and gymnastics exhibitions. But keep in mind it is first and foremost 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. Event-goers will view a stunning 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 a broad selection of art media and styles: jewelry, pottery, painting, folk art, wood, fiber arts, wearables, bags, basketry, glass, metal, photography, sculpture and more. People attending the ticketed "Festival 2020 Preview Party: Taste of Dalton" event will have exclusive first opportunity to view and shop the indoor exhibits before the public opening on Saturday morning.

Lots of live entertainment

Every year, Festival includes great live entertainment in addition to the fine arts and artisan crafts and other events. This year is no exception.

Live music performances start Friday night. An exceptional jazz quartet, The Notables, will be entertaining the artists and guests as they arrive and browse the galleries. Then throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday, Festival will feature music by local and regional musicians.

Playing on Saturday: Charlsey Etheridge; David Rogers and Friends; Cynthia Wilson and David Pierce; Joseph Evans; and Jimmy Dormire. Playing on Sunday: Emerson Sneary; Connor Priest Band; Luke Simmons; and the Barbaric Yawps.

Also, be on hand to watch the Dalton High School Players on Saturday present a scene from their one-act play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream." And, don’t miss these wonderful multicultural performances on Saturday: Garba (song and dance from India) and belly dancing with Jillanna Babb; and on Sunday: Xochipelli (Mexican folk dance group) and Capoeira (Brazilian style dance-fighting).

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 ballet. The dancers will also perform jazz, contemporary and modern works from their August recital. On Sunday at 2 p.m., Guild Gymnastics team will present an exposition of their skills. This is a great chance for kids to see what dance and gymnastics are all about.

Festival is family friendly

In addition to wonderful fine arts exhibits and artisan markets, Creative Arts Guild’s Annual Festival offers activities for families and kids. Much of the fun will be happening on “Children’s Hill." The event planners are continuing the previous 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, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Tents with an artistic flair will feature those countries offering pre-packaged craft kits pertinent to each while supplies last. Plus, there will also be a “Children’s Art Market” for kids only.

Volunteers are welcome

To get in on all the weekend fun (and get your very own Festival 2020 T-shirt), consider volunteering to help us make this an extraordinary event. There are many ways to help, and committee leaders are always happy for more hands to make light work. Contact for more information.

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