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Art, wine festival coming to La Jolla

For two days on Oct. 10 and 11, Girard Street in La Jolla will showcase the finest art, wine and beer in Southern California and northern Baja at the inaugural La Jolla Art & Wine Festival. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The event, taking place on upper Girard Avenue between Pearl and Genter streets and at the La Jolla Elementary School playground, will raise funds to benefit underfunded programs at La Jolla’s three public elementary schools - La Jolla, Bird Rock and Torrey Pines. Critical school programs to be funded include art, music, science, physical education, technology and on-site medical care by school nurses.

Event originator and promoter Sherry Ahern noted that the fall festival will have a distinctively European flair and include a wine and beer garden with tastings and servings by the glass as well as live, onstage entertainment provided by local singer-songwriter entertainers.

The first-time event is in keeping with the history of the Jewel. “We want to reconnect with La Jolla’s roots as an art community, the Green Dragon artist colony,” Ahern said. “We want to celebrate that heritage, while presenting a unique and contemporary festival combining the creativity and sophistication of today’s artists.”

Held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11, there will be more than 300 art and crafts booths at the event. Festivities are to include a silent auction and a children’s art center.

Dennis Wills of DG Wills Books at 7461 Girard Ave. applauded the concept of the art fest.

“It’s a charming idea,” Wills said. “I think its benefits will far outweigh any possible detriments. It might be more difficult to park, or people might have to park farther away, but it will draw people together and create a lot of good chemistry, electricity and creativity. I think it will be just wonderful.”

Ahern said a panel of six judges would jury the all-media fine art show with prizes given to winners. “It will be very inexpensive, $175 for street booths for an artist for two days, and a $25 jury fee,” she said.

The event itself will not be fenced off, but beer and wine sales by the glass as well as wine tastings promoting both Southern California and northern Baja vineyards will be conducted in a fenced and covered “beer garden,” with no alcohol permitted on the street or school grounds.

There will be valet parking, shuttle service and security provided. Event access will be by hand stamp.

For the event, the street in the 7400 block of Girard Avenue from Pearl Street to the south driveway of La Jolla Elementary School will be closed from 7 p.m. Oct. 9 to 9 p.m. Oct. 11.

Artisans will have booths selling their wares both days of the festival on La Jolla Elementary School grounds.

Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger, and free for children younger than 2.

For more information, visit www.lajollaartandwinefestival.com or call (858) 454-1699.