Initially scheduled through December 20th, the Sawdust Marketplace closed yesterday (Saturday) for the season and the year.

Marketplace organizers noted that “Due to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in our own area, and several confirmed cases among our Sawdust family, we wish to take every precaution to ensure the safety of our artists, staff and guests. Therefore, the Outdoor Marketplace is now closed.”

Anyone who pre-purchased a ticket for the final days (Sunday, the 13th, or the 19th and 20th) of the Marketplace will be refunded electronically.

The Sawdust Marketplace did its best to ballyhoo the enormous talents of Laguna Beach artists. Typically known as the much larger Sawdust Winterfest, the festival opens for holiday weekend shoppers and is packed with more than 100 artists, carolers, and long snaking lines waiting for Santa Claus.

This year, the scenario was very different. While the entity scaled back significantly, choosing to rotate artists in on variable weekends, and eliminating food and drink completely, the plan was once again interrupted by COVID.

Before COVID hit at the first of this year, Sawdust had every plan to feature its summer-long arts festival. After repeatedly pushing back on opening dates, the organizers decided to take a breath and plan a fall/winter event that could be scaled to the up-and-down restraints of this COVID year. The Sawdust Marketplace replaced the Winter Festival with high hopes and plenty of inventoried, hand-made treasures. Although crowds were much smaller in size, artists remained optimistic that they could continue with holiday sales through Dec. 20th.

Now, artists are reaching out to their e-mail lists of clients and prospects. If you have a favorite artist on your list, be sure to contact them for last-minute holiday treasures.

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