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Arts Council Presents 48th Annual Art Festival

Feb. 23-24 on the shores of Lake Wailes


Last updated 2/23/2019 at 7:54pm

About 80 artists are expected Feb. 23-24

The shores of Lake Wailes lake will come alive with food, music and all kinds of artwork Feb. 23 and 24 for the 48th Annual Citizens Bank & Trust Lake Wales Arts Festival.

About 80 artists are expected to exhibit their works from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The event is juried, meaning the artist submissions were reviewed by a panel of experienced jurors and deemed quality work, worthy of a place at this popular festival.

Impressed with the hometown hospitality and level of prize money and art sales, many artists from throughout the United States return to the Lake Wales show year after year. They also enjoy what is generally wonderful weather and the beautiful setting by Lake Wailes lake. Entertainment is planned throughout the weekend. Admission and parking are free, and food can be purchased from a wide range of popular food trucks.

The Lake Wales Family Literacy Academy is coordinating the Children's Tent, which will include art activities and painting canvases while exploring the book "Maybe Something Beautiful."

The event actually kicks off Friday night with the annual Art-B-Que festival from 6-9 p.m. This year's theme is Mardi Gras, with New Orleans cuisine, a cash bar and entertainment by the Jazz Phools. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at

Sponsors and art enthusiasts committing at least $250 to purchase artwork are invited to a Patrons Breakfast Saturday morning. In addition to the patron prizes, expecting to exceed $5,000, artists will be vying for another $17,000 in awards: a $4,000 Best of Show, two $2,500 Judge's Awards, four $1,000 Awards of Excellence, five $500 Awards of Distinction and five $300 Awards of Merit. Co-chairs for this year's event are Arts Council President Erica O'Neill and Artist Blair Updike.

Rotary on the Ridge will be hosting breakfasts for artists on both Saturday and Sunday.

48th Annual Festival co-chairs Erica O'Neill and Blair Updike

According to the Arts Council, the festival will include a wide selection of paintings done in oil and acrylic as well as watercolors. Past years have brought everything from soothing landscapes to inspiring abstracts. Jewelry makers present unique necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Clay and porcelain artists form their medium into wonderful vessels and sculptures. Photographers will open your eyes to a new perspective with their fresh take on the world. Woodworkers will amaze you with their detailed craftsmanship. In addition to these, you'll find sculptures, drawings, fiber crafts, mixed media pieces, glassware, and more.

All events take place at Lake Wailes Park, 33 N. Lakeshore Blvd. For more information, contact the Arts Council at (863) 676-8426 or online at


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