Kings Mountain Art Fair celebrates its 60th year on Labor Day weekend

by Contributed Content on September 1, 2023

This year, the Kings Mountain Art Fair will celebrate its 60th year under the canopy of the coastal redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains (13889 Skyline Blvd.) September 2, 3 and 4 (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The fair is a juried show with over 120 independent artists plus 16 artists local to Kings Mountain, featuring original art made and exhibited by the artists themselves.

“We hope patrons who come to our 60th fair this year experience the same joy that past fairgoers have shared with our community over the last six decades,” said Kings Mountain Art Fair Executive Director Bev Abbott. “The fair is a cherished tradition we look forward to all year long.”

The Kings Mountain Art Fair is 100% run by volunteers, aged 5 to 85. The more than 400 volunteers who plan and host the fair are current and former community residents who come together to transform their quiet mountain community into an outdoor art gallery each Labor Day weekend.

Sixty years ago in 1963, local residents started the Kings Mountain Art Fair as a fundraiser to help create a volunteer fire department after a devastating house fire. The first fair, held in a red barn on Skyline, featured mostly local artists and raised $50.

Since that first fair, proceeds from the Kings Mountain Art Fair have continued to go directly back to the community. Proceeds support the all-volunteer Kings Mountain Fire Department, which responded to nearly a year’s worth of calls in the first six months of 2023 due to this year’s severe winter storms. Proceeds also support the Kings Mountain Elementary School, a three-room school for grades K-5 with approximately 60 children.

Over the years, the Kings Mountain Art Fair has worked to reduce its environmental impact and is now focused on a goal of “Zero Waste,” with efforts to send as little refuse to a landfill as possible. Zero Waste is a fair-wide effort, from the artists who incorporate upcycled materials into their art to the recyclable and compostable items used to serve food and beverages in the cook shack.

Families will find lots of old-fashioned fun activities including crafts and games in Kiddie Hollow, open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The grill serves a pancake breakfast, including blueberry compote, eggs and sausage, as well as a delicious lunch that includes burgers, corn on the cob, chili, mountain nachos, and more. Kings Mountain Elementary School has dessert covered with Grandma Jenny’s famous giant cookies.

Because much of the art is fragile, pets are not permitted on the fairgrounds.

People hike, bike, and drive to the fair. Bicycle racks are available, and many hiking trails lead to the fair. Shuttle service is provided for those who choose to drive and park along Skyline Blvd. Since the location is approximately 2050 ft above sea level and in the coastal redwood forest, temperatures can vary dramatically through the day and dressing in layers is recommended. Artist’s work can be previewed and shopped online before, during and after the fair.

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