FESTIVALS & EVENTS : San Clemente Revives Popular Village Art Fair

Zion Banks is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County Edition.

It's been a year since the co-sponsor of the San Clemente's Village Art Fair abruptly and without explanation left town with the names and phone numbers of participating artists, leaving the Chamber of Commerce with the unenviable task of scrounging up the information.

But the agency and the Downtown Business Assn. have responded to residents' demands for the return of what had become a quarterly tradition by reviving the event, scheduled for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sue Monlux, director of media relations for the Chamber of Commerce, said the agency had been co-sponsoring the fair four times a year in the 100 block of Avenida del Mar for five years but stopped a year ago when Jennifer Hanlon, the owner of the Pacific Art Gallery, left town with all the planning information.

"When we called (Hanlon), we couldn't reach her," Monlux said.

Since then, the Downtown Business Assn., which is now co-sponsoring the event with the chamber, has worked with volunteers to compile a list of new artists.

Monlux said planners had hoped to expand the fair by another block, but decided not to when only 25 artists agreed to participate. Those performers include a street magician, a paper sculptor and a creator of miniature Spanish houses who are coming from Orange and San Diego counties to entertain and create their works while shoppers browse.

Food and beverages will be on sale from a local vendor and in stores along Avenida del Mar, which will remain open during the fair.

Monlux said past fairs had been a good way to bring people into the city on a Sunday.

"It was a fun and entertaining and free event. People could just stroll up and down, and I just think it's really fun to attend something (where) you don't have to buy anything."

What: Village Art Fair.

When: Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 100 block of Avenida del Mar, San Clemente.

Whereabouts: Santa Ana (5) Freeway south to Palizada exit, right to El Camino Real, left to Avenida del Mar. Parking available along Avenida del Mar and on adjacent streets.

Wherewithal: Admission is free.

Where to Call: San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, (714) 492-1131.

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