Art sales also increased by a healthy 10%.
The Sawdust Festival and Art-A-Fair also reported increased sales, despite the continuing problems for the national economy.
Sawdust General Manager Tom Klingenmeier told reporter Barbara Diamond in August that gate attendance was up, and artists were "selling inventory," rather than relying on commissions.
9. Laguna Playhouse sees changes
Andrew Barnicle ended his 20-year stint as artistic director of Laguna Playhouse by directing a well-received revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" in March. Moving on, the Playhouse appointed Ann Wareham as new artistic director.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Playhouse conducted a series of celebrations in honor of those who contributed much to the organization over the years, including longtime director Doug Rowe, and Vern Spitaleri, Emerald Bay resident and former Laguna News Post publisher, who served as president of the Laguna Moulton Playhouse, precursor to Laguna Playhouse.
10. 'Savages' films in Laguna Beach
Some Main Beach onlookers may have gotten a glimpse of Benicio Del Toro in September, as celebrity sightings became common with the filming of Oliver Stone's "Savages" in Laguna Beach.
Based on a book of the same name by Don Winslow, the movie tells the story of a marijuana operation in Laguna Beach coming to a head with a Mexican drug cartel.
Besides Del Toro, other familiar faces included Taylor Kitsch of "Friday Night Lights" and Demián Bichir of "Weeds." The film also stars Salma Hayek and "Gossip Girl" leading lady Blake Lively.