The 49th annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair at Kenyon’s Field in Waitsfield, Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, is a rain-or-shine event with 105 juried artists, four bands, a food court (including craft cocktails and local beer), free kids bounce house, door prizes, seated massage, and workshops and demonstrations throughout the weekend. It’s a destination event for the entire family from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with two-thirds under a giant tent. The event benefits the Valley Players Theater.
Three bands are returning from last year: Green Mountain Swing and Phineas Gage on Saturday and on Sunday morning Colleen Mari & Friends. New this year on Sunday afternoon is Dan and Co. (aka the Harwood Union Assembly Band). They started out playing in the school's monthly assemblies and most recently entertained a huge crowd at the Warren Store on the Fourth of July. The band is made up of current Harwood students and recent graduates who bring energy and excellent skill to their music.
The food court includes wood-fired pizza, lemonade and smoothies, hamburgers, Greek food, chicken wraps and other sandwiches, vegetarian offerings, hand-cut french fries, ice cream and homemade desserts. Mad River Distillers and Cooperative Brewing will offer local libations to adults 21 and older in an area near the food court and music tent.
Fourteen of the 105 artists are local. Check out the talents of neighbors hailing from Waitsfield and Warren: Ken Amann of Amann Fine Leather, Noel Bailey of Noel Bailey Ceramics, Tom Bednash of Thomas Ceramics, Luke Iannuzzi of Luke Iannuzzi Pottery and Victoria Meade of Images in Glass. Allyson Biondo of Hancock and Mary Ellen Alberti of Warren make stained glass and chakra jewelry. Irene Pluntky-Goedecke of Fayston and NYC offers her jewelry under the name of Pluntky. From Waterbury the craft fair hosts Alixandra Klein of Alixandra Barron Designs and Shannon Morrison of N3Pottery. Mary Spencer of Duxbury owns Four Season Pottery and Josh Axelrod of Axelrod photography is from Roxbury. Two former locals will also participate: Carley Sargent grew up in Warren and is now a mosaics artist and Mollie German of Bristol, formerly of Warren, owns High Mountain Ceramics.
“We’ve always had artists demonstrating their skills, but this year we wanted to offer workshops for people to learn so we chose two mediums – weaving and photography. First, most people don’t realize how important weaving has been through the ages and would enjoy making a useful item for their home. Secondly, we all take photos on our phones nearly every day. I believe everyone would love to take better photos,” said Laura Arnesen, craft fair manager.
“The craft fair’s goal is to offer something for everyone – shopping, eating, seated massage, relaxing with a cocktail or if you’re a kid, our free bounce house. Learning a new skill fits into that goal so join us on Labor Day weekend!” continued Arnesen. The craft fair draws artists from all over the Northeast.
The nonprofit Valley Players Theater owns the event and tickets are good for both days, a play discount and make folks eligible to win more than 20 door prizes. www.madrivercraftfair.com.