Fine Arts & Crafts Festival Entertainment & Judge Announced

SEBRING, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2016) – The Highlands Art League (HAL), hosts of the 50th Annual Highlands Fine Arts & Crafts Festival presented by Duke Energy, is pleased to announce that this year’s Festival entertainment line up and judge.

This year’s entertainment includes headliners such as the Sauce Boss and The Mudflappers, local talent Emanon and Jimmie Duke, demonstrations in furniture and street painting, and art and culture tours to Avon Park and Lake Placid.

Saturday, Nov. 5
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM National Anthem by Martile Blackman & VFW Color Guard/Festival Hours

10:30 AM -2:30 PM EMANON
EMANON has developed a reputation for excellence in playing the music of the jazz greats, originals and well known songs from the great American song book. A typical EMANON concert will feature diverse musical styles such as swing, Latin, funk and pop/rock

1:00 PM Free Art & Culture Tour to Avon Park
Departs from Yellow House Gallery (1989 Lakeview Drive)

2:30 PM Furniture Painting Demonstration by Not Too Shabby
Painted, repurposed antiques and used furniture continue to be a popular design choice and a local favorite will demonstrate how to re-design furniture yourself.

3:00-6:00 PM The Mudflappers
Brandishing a wide arsenal of traditional acoustic instruments, this 7-piece, mini orchestra provides ecstatic live performances and infectious onstage energy. Pulling influences from the depression soaked blues of the dustbowl to the prohibitionary jazz of a local speakeasy, you won’t be disappointed.
Time TBD Street Painting Demonstration by Beverly Marshall

Also known as pavement art, street art, and sidewalk art, street painting is the performance art of rendering artistic designs on pavement such as streets, sidewalks, and town squares with impermanent and semi-permanent materials such as chalk.

Sunday, Nov. 6
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Festival Hours

10:30 AM-1:00 PM Jimmie Duke, One Man Band
A local favorite playing pop, country and rock & roll as a singer and he also plays the trumpet, piano, tenor saxophone and guitar.
Noon Free Art & Culture Tour to Highlands Hammock & Lake Placid
Departs from Yellow House Gallery (1989 Lakeview Drive)

1:30-3:00 PM The Sauce Boss
Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton brings his own hot sauce to every gig, and he cooks a big pot of gumbo, while smoking his slide guitar. At the end of the Show, everyone gets a bowl. Sauce Boss not only plays slide, but also sings his tamales off, makes gumbo, plays a drum kit with his feet and feeds everybody.
Time TBD Chainsaw Art Demonstration by Frankie Flowers

The art of chainsaw carving is a fast-growing form of art that combines the modern technology of the chainsaw with the ancient art of woodcarving.

The Festival judge this year will be Ann Larsen who is Director of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College. For most of the past forty years she has worked in arts education and management, beginning her career at the Iowa Arts Council where she managed touring artists programs, advised organizations throughout the state on council programs, and edited the first state-wide guide to arts fairs and festivals.

She went on to serve as the first Managing Director of Olson-Larsen Galleries, West Des Moines, working with private and corporate collectors; Executive Director of the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minneapolis; and Executive Director of the Pasco Arts Council, Florida.

She was appointed Acting Director of the Leepa-Rattner in 2012 and named its Director in 2013. Larsen attended Drake University (studio art), Drake’s School of Art & Art History in Florence, Italy, and graduated from the University of Iowa (art history).

Post-graduate studies have been in arts and nonprofit management. She has been a frequent juror and judge for arts festivals, a grant reviewer and panelist for local and state arts councils, and has served on boards and advisory committees for cultural organizations in the upper midwest and Florida.

The Festival will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6 from 10:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m. with judging taking place Saturday morning for all registered artists who will be competing for more than $5,000 in cash awards, as well as the new Emerging Artists who are competing for a total of $2,000 in scholarships.

The purpose of the Festival is to foster an appreciation of the arts, celebrate original art and value community by bringing art and culture to Highlands County.

This Festival is one of Florida’s longest continuously running art Festivals. It the largest and most prestigious in the South Central Florida region held in historic Downtown Sebring the first Saturday in November to kick off the holiday shopping season.

For 49 years, this festival has provided a celebration of the arts in the local and regional community. It features nearly 80 talented local, state and national visual artists. Their original artwork from 10 mediums reflects the very best, having been juried from 100+ applicants.

In addition to great art, the Festival will include the (Chamber of) Commerce Avenue for area businesses that do not sell art or food, Children’s Street with interactive arts and crafts activities for kids, live music, strolling street theatre, and culinary offerings provided by various food vendors on Culinary Street.

Details regarding the Festival can be found online at or by calling the HAL office at (863) 385-6682.