The 50th annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair will be held at Kenyon’s Field, Waitsfield, over Labor Day weekend, September 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Approximately 75 artists from Vermont and New England will show their work, along with live music, a food court, craft cocktails and beer and 50 door prizes to celebrate the anniversary. There is a cash entry fee for adults and teens; kids 12 years old or younger are free. Proceeds benefit the Valley Players, a community theater group in Waitsfield.
Many of the 75 artists are based in central Vermont. Noel Bailey of Noel Bailey Ceramics, Tom Bednash of Thomas Ceramics, and Victoria Meade of Images in Glass are from Waitsfield; Irene Pluntky-Goedecke of Fayston and NYC, offers her jewelry under the name of Pluntky; Alixandra Klein of Alixandra Barron is based in Waterbury, Mary Spencer of Duxbury owns Four Season Pottery, and Josh Axelrod of Axelrod Photography is from Roxbury. Other artists come from all over New England.
Four bands will play during the fair. Scheduled to appear on Saturday morning is Green Mountain Swing, a 17-piece band that recently appeared at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Blackwolf, a Vermont-born group featuring steel guitar, vocals and blues harmonica, will play original and inspired blues and folk on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Colleen Mari Mays, who is half of the Medicine Tribe duo, returns to the craft fair bringing her clear vocals and acoustic guitar. TJ Johnson, on keyboards, is the other half of the Medicine Tribe. On Sunday afternoon Some Hollow will perform rolling rhythms with tight harmonies. Some Hollow is Vermont-based and made up of Jason Lee, Jim Hamel and Josh Morse.
American Flatbread will offer flatbreads, craft cocktails and local brews to adults near the food court and music tent. Yum Food Truck will serve mac and cheese, with add-ons like cheesesteak beef or pickles and also offers snow cones. Wilcox’s lemonade and ice cream returns to the craft fair with their from-scratch treats, and Rick’s Chuckwagon returns with hot dogs, sausages with onions and peppers, hamburgers, French fries, grilled cheese and more.
The Valley Players purchased the craft fair in 1989, after 19 years of private ownership. The fair provides support to maintain the Valley Players Theater on Main Street in Waitsfield. The group has been promoting cultural activities in the Mad River Valley for 40 years, including production of plays and musicals, education in theatrical arts and concerts and comedy shows. “The craft fair is our major source of funding for the year,” said board of directors member Ruth Ann Pattee. “With the cancellation of the fair last year due to the pandemic, we’re really looking forward to coming back together again this year with our family of vendors and visitors.”
The Valley Players reminds people to leave pets at home. Kids’ activities like the bounce house will return in 2022. Masks are recommended under the tent per current CDC guidance. For the full list of artists, door prizes and more information and directions go to madrivercraftfair.com.