MARATHON, Florida Keys — Described as “a big show for a tiny island,” the annual Pigeon Key Art Festival is set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3, 2018, and attendees can expect new elements added to the artistry on display.
As in the past, the festival is to transform the open-air Marathon Community Park 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 6-9 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 festival 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 Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad in the early 1900s. It has appealed to artists from around the world who have captured its tranquil beauty.
Proceeds from the creative 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.
As well as viewing and acquiring artwork, attendees can observe featured artists demonstrating their skills and gain insights into their techniques.
New this year is a live auction slated for 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the park’s band shell before the evening concert. Original work by world-renowned marine artists Wyland, Guy Harvey and Carey Chin is to be featured alongside artistry by acclaimed Florida 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.
Also available for purchase each year are commemorative posters and limited-edition T-shirts featuring Pigeon Key, custom-created by an exhibiting artist selected by festival organizers.
Other attractions planned at the expansive community park, located at mile marker 49, 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.
Event information: pigeonkeyartfestival.com
Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284