PUT IT INTO WORDS: Even though the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Beach's seasonal art-and-crafts experience, has been around for nearly a half century, it can be difficult to describe it to someone who has never been. Not that it isn't full of details and color. Quite the contrary in fact; the Sawdust is all color and details and small delights and little quirks. Alighting on one or two or three to describe for the first-timer is the challenge. One usually starts with what is in the festival's very name: sawdust. The ground is covered with chunky, woodsy bits of nature, inside the shopping-and-strolling area, which charms. How many malls or shopping districts have a flooring that's straight from the forest floor? Then the description moves onto the quaintness of the setting, all snug little rows of crafty booths, the niceness of the artists who are there blowing glass and weaving, and the interesting variety of art to buy.
PHEW... Okay, that's a start, newcomers. But to know Sawdust you have to go. It opens for its summer run on Friday, June 28 and wraps it all up on Saturday, Sept. 1. It'll be open every day, 10 to 10, which we make mention of because the winter version of the Sawdust keeps trimmer days and hours. And it is a fine place to shop ahead for the holidays. Need a necklace made out of a spoon for your aunt or a funky beach painting for your dad? It's probably here, and you get the pleasure of telling the giftee about the magical place you bought it. Yep, we trekked out the word "magical" again. If the Sawdust doesn't resemble a shopping bazaar from a fairy story, we honestly don't know what does.