Communication Builds Our Community

Don't Miss 49th Arts Festival on Shores of Lake Wailes Feb. 29-March 1

New Entertainment Village and Perks for Patrons

New features and patron events and more than 50 artists from around the world look to make the 49th Annual Citizens Bank & Trust Lake Wales Arts Festival Feb. 29 and March 1 the best one to date.

Hosted by the Lake Wales Arts Council, the Festival will kick off with the 9th Annual Art-B-Que on The Shores of Lake Wailes, 33 N. Lakeshore Blvd., from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday February 28.

The free-to-attend Arts Festival will continue on February 29 and March 1.

Additions to the festival this year include the Oakley Transport Entertainment Village with an enclosed air-conditioned lounge and an open-air module with a sky deck overlooking Lake Wailes. Patron perks will also increase with the addition of a Patrons Ice Cream Social and Gourmet Hot Dog Lunch.

"I believe that adding the new Entertainment Village will allow our patrons to return throughout the entire festival," said Andrew Allen, Executive Director for the Lake Wales Arts Council. "Historically, we have only offered patron experiences on Friday night and Saturday morning. With the addition of air-conditioned lounges, luxury furniture, and special events, we hope that our patrons will visit us multiple times and in turn, buy more art!"

The annual Patrons Breakfast will be on Saturday morning followed by an ice Cream Social at 4 p.m. that afternoon. A Gourmet Hot Dog lunch for patrons will be held Sunday at noon.

The Lake Wales Arts Festival will kick off at the 9th Annual Art-B-Que on February 28 from 6 pm - 8 pm. The theme for Art-B-Que this year is Nashville! Don your finest western wear and biggest cowboy hat for a night of craft barbecue, music, and community. The event, which will take place in the Entertainment Village, will be catered by Blue Dog Craft Barbecue with music by The Back Porch Revival, a Folk and traditional Country favorite out of Sebring. Beer and wine will be available at a cash bar during the event. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 13.

In addition to Art-B-Que tickets, the Lake Wales Arts Council is selling VIP tickets. These include access to the lounges, Art-B-Q ticket, Patrons Ice Cream Social, and Gourmet Hot Dog Lunch. VIP tickets are $50 apiece and include 1 free VIP admission of a child under 13 years old. Tickets for Art-B-Que and VIP access are available at

The Lake Wales Arts Council will host over 50 artists from around the country who will compete for $22,500 with $17,000 of that in awards and the other $5,500 from their Purchase Prize Program. Accomplished artists will be traveling from Canada, California, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, across Florida and other states to display their fine art and compete for awards.

"We take good care of our visiting artists," said Allen. "We also have businesses in our area that have helped us provide one of the largest prize-pools in the state of Florida. We attract so many artists because festivals like ours are how they make a living."

Art mediums and price points will vary: "Art enthusiasts on any budget can find something at the Lake Wales Arts Festival. With such a diverse lineup of artists, we hope that everyone can find that one special piece that speaks to them," said Allen.

Festival attendees will notice a distinct jazz theme this year with a lineup of jazz musicians taking the MYBOX stage in the Entertainment Village throughout the weekend. If you've missed Jewel of the Ridge Jazz Festival, this event is for you.

Dining options at the festival include food trucks The Rolling Gourmet, Chief's Chill Out Truck, and Tallulah's Table by the Sea.

The Arts Council has coordinated with the Lake Wales Library on the Student Art Show running through February. Winners of the show will have work displayed at the festival and all works entered will be on display at the Lake Wales Library. An awards ceremony will be held for the student at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

There will be plenty of things for the little ones to do as well, including a kids' concert at 11 am Saturday with singer/ songwriter Dot Riser and a children's tent with arts and activities in partnership with the Lake Wales Family Literacy Coalition.

"The Lake Wales Arts Festival has been a cultural institution of our town for almost 50 years," said Allen. "The festival brings in thousands of tourists each year that get to learn about what our beautiful city has to offer. Besides tourism, we bring in talented artists that our residents can interact with. These interactions with help foster a deeper appreciation for the arts in our community."

For more information about the 49th Annual CB&T Lake Wales Arts Festival, visit the Lake Wales Arts Council website,

These additions and the continuation of a longstanding cultural and community-centered event are all thanks to our sponsors: Citizens Bank & Trust; Polk State College; Visit Central Florida; Oakley Transport Inc .; Action Signs & Advertising; Bok Tower Gardens; AdventHealth; Bunting, Tripp & Ingley; De Novo Art; Florida Literacy Coalition; Florida's Natural Growers; Grove Roots Brewing Company; Hampton Inn & Suites of Lake Wales; Kathryn's Christian Books; City of Lake Wales; MYBOX; Petersen Industries Inc .; Promo; The Story Companies; Publix Super Markets Charities; Warner University; Chip Thullbery; John and Laura Motis; Brawley Wealth Management Group.


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