Described as a big show for a tiny island, the annual Pigeon Key Art Festival is set for Friday and Saturday.
The festival is to transform the open-air Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49 oceanside, into a tropically themed oasis of exemplary artwork in the mediums of pottery, painting, glass, sculpture, photography, jewelry and more.
The show is scheduled 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, a departure from its past Saturday-Sunday format.
Additions for 2018 include a 6 to 9 p.m. Friday concert at the park featuring Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band. The concert is included as part of Friday’s admission.
Organizers also expect to expand the festival’s historical reenactments, period entertainment and educational programming to underscore the Pigeon Key Foundation’s important projects.
Iconic Pigeon Key is a small historic island beneath the Old Seven Mile Bridge that housed workers constructing the Key West Extension of the Florida Keys East Coast Railway in the early 1900s. It has appealed to artists from around the world who have captured its tranquil beauty.
Proceeds from the festival support the Pigeon Key Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 1992. The foundation is dedicated to educating the public about the historic, environmental and cultural significance of the Florida Keys and the tiny island, which suffered damage from Hurricane Irma in September.
New at the festival this year is a live auction slated for 5 p.m. Friday at the park’s band shell before the evening concert. Original works bymarine artists Wyland, Guy Harvey and Carey Chin is to be featured alongside artistry by Keys talents.
Attendees also can purchase tickets to win one of several pieces of artwork from exhibitors during the festival’s traditional art raffle, held both days.
Other attractions include food and beverage booths, a beer and wine garden, music and children’s crafts.
Admission for either day is $7 per person for adults and free for children under age 12. As a value-added feature, attendees who purchase tickets for Friday admission can retain them and gain free return admission on Saturday for an encore festival experience.
Guests also can present their tickets for half-price admission to Pigeon Key by boat during the week following the event. Parking is free at the Marathon Community Park.