Tag Archive: Parking

The annual Sausalito Art Festival is a big deal around Sausalito, so it’s no surprise that preparations are well underway. The festival won’t open until Saturday, September 3rd, but crews were busy over the weekend at Marinship Park.

Photo by Shaun Edward

As usual, festival tickets don’t come cheaply–25 dollars for a one-day general admission or a 40-dollar pass good for all three days. Senior (62 and over) and Junior (12 and under) tickets are also available for 15 and 5 dollars, respectively. If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending the Sausalito Art Festival before, you’ll quickly need to learn that nothing comes cheaply. Beer, wine, champagne and a whole variety of foods will be available–and I promise they’ll all be delicious–but you should also be prepared to pay for the privilege.

The art, too, doesn’t often come cheaply at the festival (or in Sausalito as a whole, for that matter) but once you’re in the festival, it doesn’t cost anything to appreciate the art, and with hundreds of artists from all over California, the country and the globe, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Just bring the checkbook or the platinum card if you want to take something home.

Photo by Shaun Edward

The Art Festival’s official site boasts “14 acres of paid parking, including handicapped areas,” but what they don’t boast is that you’ll have to pay for it. Still, at least your parking fee gets you a free shuttle ride from the lot to the festival. Alternative transportation options abound as well: The Marin Bicycle Coalition provides a free  bicycle valet service, Blue and Gold Fleet will run a direct ferry service between Pier 41 in San Francisco and the Bay Model dock at the Art Festival, and there will also be shuttle busses between the festival and the Golden Gate Ferry dock in downtown Sausalito.

Below you’ll find some useful links to festival information, and don’t forget to check back to this site for coverage and photos of the 59th Annual Sausalito Art Festival.

Sausalito Art Festival website

Buy Art Festival tickets online

Festival Map

Parking information/map

Festival Hours

Saturday, September 3rd, 10am to 6pm
Sunday, September 4th, 10am to 6pm
Monday September 5th, 10am to 5pm

Festival Program

Blue and Gold Art Festival Ferry schedule

Photo by Shaun Edward


Sausalito Art Festival is an expensive labor day tradition

Sausalito’s 58th annual art festival took place over Labor Day weekend, bringing together artists from as far away as Wisconsin, Seattle and Los Angeles. It was, in a word, expensive.

Just to get into the festival cost 20 dollars a day—although if for some reason you wanted to be there all weekend, 30 dollar, three day passes were also available. But the entry fee wasn’t even the worst part. On top of that, if you drove to the festival, you’d have the to pay five dollars to park far away and take a less-than-lovely stroll through the industrial waterfront. If you wanted to impress your date, you could opt to pay a whopping ten dollars to park closer to the festival.

All this parking drama would make sense in San Francisco, where parking is at a premium. But parking in Sausalito is usually not a problem. But in order to pump up revenue from the event (or maybe to appease the natives who don’t want cars in their neighborhoods) signs like this were posted everywhere you’d normally be able to park:


These were all over Sausalito

If you were smart enough to ride your bike there, rest assured that you wouldn’t have to park it yourself—such hard labor is not fit for the posh attendees. Instead, the Marin Bicycle Coalition operated a bicycle valet parking service, which is basically a fancy way of saying that they’d take your bike and line it up next to a bunch of other ones behind a fence. But still, it seemed to be a popular service.

Valet bicycle parking was provided by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition

Once inside the festival, one thing stood out: The uniformity of the crowd. Without getting offensive, let’s just say that this was not the most diverse crowd I’ve encountered. Overwhelmingly middle-aged or older, dressed in collared shirts and expensive looking summer dresses, they typified the Sausalito you’d imagine.

There was one standout, however. The art was excellent. Amazing, in fact. And it had better be, given how much it cost. Pieces selling for 10,000 dollars were commonplace. And it was expensive for the artists too. Metal sculptor Holly Rodes Smithey had made the trip to Sausalito from Bend, Oregon. She wouldn’t say how much her booth cost, but “it’s expensive,” she said. “It’s always a gamble, but we’ve sold a few pieces.” Still, she wasn’t sure she’d be back next year.

The art ranged from the typical paintings and blown-up photographs on canvas to the more creative, like artist Marc Sjan’s unnervingly realistic statues, and Scott and Naomi Schoenherr’s cute and original, hand painted ceramic hot rods. I asked Scott Schoenherr how often he was able to sell a 1,200 dollar ceramic car. “Uh…yeah…” he replied. “Not much of a market, but you know…” At that price, you don’t need to sell many to make it worth your while.

Marc Sijan's sculptures are sometimes more realistic then you'd like.

There were other things to do too, just in case the art got to be too much: You could eat. And drink. But you’d better have a fat wallet. Fish and chips was nine dollars, and a glass of champagne was 8 dollars. There was also a selection of beers and other food, but none of it was cheap.

Simply put, the Sausalito Art Festival is aimed at a different demographic: Rich. My roommate literally overheard one man commenting on the price of the tickets. “It keeps the rabble out,” he allegedly said. To this demographic, the show was a roaring success. The art was beautiful, and I’m sure the food and wine was delicious. And you could always bid on an Aston Martin in the silent auction.

If you didn't feel like buying art, you could always bid on this Aston Martin Rapide instead.

But for the younger and poorer residents of Sausalito? Well, on Monday, there was a concert and picnic in Marin City, right across the freeway from Sausalito. It was free.