Great Lakes Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival Expected to Draw Dozens of Sea Glass Vendors from Around the Globe, Booths Still Available for Coastal Artists

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Up to ninety vendors and more than 7,000 attendees are expected to take part in the Great Lakes Sea Glass Festival hosted by Relish Jewelers in Erie, Pa.

Great Lakes Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival

A lot of planning and hard work has gone into this event so far, but we absolutely know it’s going to pay off in the end.

Up to ninety vendors and more than 7,000 attendees are expected to take part in the Great Lakes Sea Glass Festival hosted by Relish Jewelers in Erie, Pa.

Slated for Memorial Day weekend 2013, (May 25 and 26) the festival will be held in the Great Hall of Erie’s 29,000 square foot Bayfront Convention Center.

While the jewelry category is filled, there is still space available for a variety of other art and craft mediums. The application deadline for coastal artists interested in exhibiting at the festival is Feb. 28. Application information and associated costs, a list of current vendors, and hotel information can be found on the event page.

“A lot of planning and hard work has gone into this event so far, but we absolutely know it’s going to pay off in the end,” said Terri Reed, co-owner of Relish Jewelers. “As things are starting to come together, it’s clear that this event is going to be a huge success and both vendors and attendees are in for an amazing weekend.”

Lectures from local and regional experts at the event will include:

  • Walter Rybtka, author captain of the Flagship Niagara, will present on The Battle of Lake Erie.
  • Scott McKenzie, a geologist, educator and curator from Mercyhurst College, will present on unusual beach finds.
  • Jim Grazio, a Great Lakes biologist from the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, will present on the fish of Lake Erie.
  • Brian Gula, an environmental education specialist and interpreter from the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, will present on the myths and legends of Joe Root.
  • Emily Hauser, an environmentalist from the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, will present on beach ecology.
  • Gary DeBlois, a graphic designer, photographer, artist and beach glass collector from NH, will present on how the Internet has revolutionized beach glass hunting.

Please see the website for the full schedule of lectures.

In addition to lectures, the festival will feature bottle identifiers, educational booths on ecology and environment, a collector’s area, live music from Erie’s Salmon Frank Band, a cash bar and plenty of “grub and grog.”

A “Best Beach Find 2013” contest will be held at the event and attendees can submit up to three pieces of beach glass to be judged for a grand prize of $1,000. Ten other category winners will be awarded cash prizes of $100. A gift basket raffle will also be held, and attendees can purchase tickets for a chance to win variety of gifts from both vendors and local businesses.

An artist’s reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and will feature appetizers and a cash bar.

In honor of Memorial Day, a portion of the festival’s proceeds will go directly to a local Veteran’s organization. Another portion will go to The Pennsylvania Sea Grant, a national network that conducts scientific research, education and training about conservation of aquatic resources.

Sponsorship opportunities for this event are still available. There are two premium sponsorships available, as well as unlimited supporting levels. To view current sponsorships or to get more information on individual sponsorships, please visit our sponsorship opportunity page. You may also contact Terri Reed or Jennifer Reed for more information by phone at 814-836-1827.

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