OSCODA – Art on the Beach is set to return to Oscoda Beach Park for the 36th year this weekend on Saturday at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual event began back in 1983 with the Oscoda Garden Club who were looking for a fundraiser to raise money for plants and trees to beautify the town.
Originally known as the Arts and Crafts Fair, the first year brought in more than 60 vendors from across the state of Michigan. The Oscoda Lions Club along with the Oscoda Athletic Boosters served as volunteers for food concession booths. A few years later the Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the clubs to produce the annual event seen today.
Typically slated for the last weekend in June, OACC Executive Director Rose Fulton learned early on that some changes would have to be made to make Art on the Beach possible this year. Due to the popularity of another art show during the June 28-30 weekend, Fulton decided to move the annual event up one week.
“We had to accommodate our vendors by changing the date,” said Fulton.
Fulton said that more than half of the artisans would be unavailable had the event been held the last weekend of June as originally planned.
With more than 100 artisans expected to fill the Oscoda Beach Park this year, the 36 year old event has seen many changes and additions over the years. Today artisans come from as far as the Southwest United States, Florida and Southern Ohio to as close as living locally and serving the community.
The event will feature old favorites including Beverly Guregian with her natural stone jewelry, Bill and Pam Hand with their unfinished wood products such as birdhouses and lawn lighthouses, Pam’s Pantry with gourmet dips and mixes, Bonnie Deines with her leather belts and Colonial Wagon and Wheel with their metal, lawn and garden art.
“It’s nice to be able to bring in these vendors, so that we have a choice. You can feel like you’re going shopping, looking through jewelry or stain glass and handbags, something different that not everybody has,” said Fulton.
Local organizations such as The Oscoda Garden Club, The Oscoda Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) in conjunction with The Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union (AAACU) and The Oscoda Lions Club will make an appearance at the annual event. The Oscoda Garden Club will have their annual live auction at noon up on the hill near the other artisans. They will be selling a variety of herb plants, hostas and gardening books.
Plant prices will start at $4 and go up from there. President Jeanette Staudacher also said there will be brochures available for those interested in learning more about the club. Along with the auction, the club will also be holding a raffle drawing for a salsa planter. Guests are encouraged to bring cash as the club doesn’t have card capability.
Guests are encouraged to bring cash because many booths won’t have the ability to handle credit cards. A local ATM can be found at River Road and US-23 across from the Dairy Queen at AAACU for those who forget to bring cash.
Additionally, the Oscoda Lions Club will attend offering tickets for their annual raffle. Tickets will be sold at Art on the Beach and drawn during the Paul Bunyan Festival. Five tickets will be drawn for $1,000 each.
The Oscoda PTO and AAACU will make a first time appearance at the show to raise money for their incoming therapy dog named Chester for the 2019-20 school year. The two will be selling pet products including dog treats and toys.
Additionally, there will be food vendors available offering carnival style foods, along with lemonade and iced tea, donuts, smoothies, burger, cheese steaks and hot dogs to name a few. There will also be face painting available by Ryan Eberline.
Similar to last year, the Oscoda Area Schools football program is offering their services to help vendors set-up with loading and unloading on Friday. Chamber officials predict between 3,000 to 5,000 visitors for the annual affair.
In conjunction with the art fair, HealthQuest will be hosting its third annual Shore Beach Fun Run/Walk fundraiser on Saturday, June 22. The 5K run/walk is slated for 11 a.m., while a children’s event is set to follow at noon. For more information on cost and registration visit www.healthquest4you.com.
For more information about Art on the Beach contact OACC by calling 739-7322.