The Under the Oaks Art Festival is returning to St. Simons for the 49th year. This year’s festival will take place at Postell Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

This year marks the 49th annual Under the Oaks Fall Art Festival. However, this year Glynn Visual Arts (GVA) has added another element to the two-day event with the addition of the Merry Mermaid Parade.

GVA executive director Susan Ryles said they added the Merry Mermaid Parade to get the community involed. She said that it’ll be a fun little walk around the park. They’re inviting all mermaids, mermen and any other sea creatures that want to participate. There will be ribbons given out to the best costumes.

Ryles said mermaids of all ages can come out and join in on the fun.

“It’s actually an adjunct to our regular art festival, but we’re adding this element this year to have a little more fun,” Ryles said.

“We want to add some participation by the community too. We want to bring people out and get people excited. And what better place than to see some mermaids than at the art festival. It’ll be fun and foolishness.”

The Merry Mermaid Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, but check-in is at 10:30 and the sea creatures will line up for it at 10:45 a.m. It costs $10 to participate in the event as well.

Ryles said that the festival will have a wide variety of artists there this year and that it’s a true art festival. There will be a variety of two and three-dimensional art, sculptures, photography, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, wood, metal and glass booths for people to browse through and potentially purchase new art pieces.

In addition to the various booths, there will also be a kids creation station where young artists can participate in an art project to take home.

“We will have a variety of 50 to 60 artists this year,” Ryles said. “These are fine arts and craftspeople. We’re not an antique show, and we’re not resellers, these are artists with original work that’ll be there selling. It’s truly an art festival. We try to brand this festival as a little bit higher quality of work than some of the other festivals that go down there are.”

Ryles said that Glynn Visual Arts is also doing a raffle this weekend and giving away some cool prices.

“The raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5. Some of the winnings are mermaid themed gifts that we will be raffling off, so that’ll be another fun little element,” Ryles said. “The festival itself is free and open to the public. This is all a fundraiser for Glynn Visual Arts as we are the largest non-profit art association in our area. We have members, but we are constantly trying to raise money, and this is one of our opportunities to do that along with bringing art to the community.

Ryles said the goal and mission of GVA is to bring really good art and artists to our community.

“That includes in a festival kind of atmosphere as well as in our gallery here on Island Drive,” she said.

Glynn Visual Arts has been hosting this Under the Oaks Festival for many years, and it’s one of the many events that this nonprofit does to help raise money. The festival will take place for two days at Postal Park in the Pier Village on St. Simons Island, and it runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

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