Los Barriles Arts Festival Coming Up Soon

Annual event supports arts in the schools, so be sure to buy a lot

The Festival de Artes in Los Barriles is one of the longest, if not the longest, continuously running art show in Baja California Sur, celebrating its 25 anniversary this year.

The first festival was held on April 1, 1993. It all started with a group of artists who needed a place to sell their art. Well, that’s still why it’s around, no?

One of the artists lived in the Juanito’s Garden neighborhood; the park was centrally located, and had plenty of space for artists to set up their exhibits.

The festival was able to get several Mexican artists from Santiago, Miraflores and Agua Caliente, as well as a group of folk dancers from La Paz to perform. The mother’s club from the Los Barriles elementary school provided the food so they could earn some money for one of the school projects, and they were thrilled with the money they made that first year. 

After the festival’s success, organizers realized they were on to something and did it again. And again. They formed the Asociación de Artes del Mar Cortez, an official Mexican non-profit that supports the arts and provides supplies for area schools. Back when the group was formed, art wasn’t taught in the elementary schools, and there was no money for art supplies anyway. The money generated from the festival’s raffles and silent auctions help support art in the schools to this day.

The festival still has the same basic format as it did the first year, featuring art, food, beer and entertainment. This year’s Festival de Artes will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 at the Hotel Palmas de Cortez in downtown Los Barriles. More than 120 vendors will display their works, including oil, acrylic, water color, fabric, pottery, silver and precious stones, leather, wood, glass and more. Organizers are vigilant to ensure the artists design and create original works, so you know you’re getting hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces.

The odors coming from the food court will include the Palmas carne asada taco stand, hamburgers from San Antiono gourmet burgers and pizza, and the Sausage Ladies. And don’t panic, there will be a bar for the guys to wait for their shopping partners.

There will also be traditional folk dancing from the Los Barriles schools, along with dancers from the La Paz Cultural Ministry.

And make sure you bring plenty of money for the raffle and silent auction; remember, this is how the kids get money for their art supplies.

This year’s packages include: fishing trips; hotel stays in Todos Santos, Los Barriles, La Paz and Cabo Pulmo; golf packages; guided tours; whale watching; jewelry; paintings; shopping trips; and dinner packages.

You can see a complete list of auction items at www.eastcapearts.com. If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, email festivaldeartes20@gmail.com. For general questions, eastcapearts@gmail.com.

Los Barriles is a charming town about an hour and 10 minutes north of San Jose. On the highway. Which highway? How many highways do you think we have?