The fifty-second annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair will be held at Kenyon’s Field, 3337 Main Street, Waitsfield, over Labor Day weekend, September 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Eighty-plus artists from all over Vermont and New England will offer their work for sale, along with live music, a food court, kids’ activities such as free face painting and lawn games, and door prizes. There is a small cash entry fee for adults and teens; kids 12 years of age and under can enter for free. All proceeds support the Valley Players, a community theater group in Waitsfield.
Several of the artists are based in the Mad River Valley. Tom Bednash of Thomas Ceramics and Victoria Meade of Images in Glass have studios in Waitsfield, and Irene Pluntky-Goedecke of Fayston and NYC will bring her jewelry under the name of Pluntky. From Warren, Kathy Chesney will bring Shell Art to the fair, and Alison Biondo and Mary Ellen Alberti of Rainrose Glass and Awaken Jewelry will return again this year with their stained-glass pieces and Chakra jewelry. Other artists come from all over Vermont and New England.
New to the fair this year are several special events. On Saturday, September 2, from 11 a.m. to noon, the Dinoman Science show will use magic, clever explanations and props to present a dynamic program of dinosaurs, science and fun for the whole family. Local scientist Bob Lisaius travels the East Coast sharing his dinosaur wisdom at schools, libraries, and special events, and now he’ll perform in his hometown. On Sunday, September 3, from 11 a.m. to noon, join Yoga with Emma (bring a mat or towel). Emma Delphin’s Vinyasa yoga classes are inclusive of all levels and people and aim to increase balance and strength. Enjoy this one-hour free yoga session. Delphin also teaches yoga at SHARC and outside at Lawson’s on summer Saturdays.
And on both days of the fair, from noon to 2 p.m., Kathy Mehuron, author of the new book “Take Me Back: An Anecdotal History of the Mad River Valley” will be on hand to sign books and talk about her new nonprofit, Take Me Back. “We have so much to be proud of in our Mad River Valley,” she said. “We grew from mills and farmland to three world-class ski mountains, yet maintained the pristine landscape so faithfully that there is not one traffic light here. From such a can-do spirit was the Take Me Back project born: a nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness about and money for organizations that want to showcase the rich history of our beloved Valley.”
Live music is always a big part of the Fair and four bands will play throughout the two days. Scheduled to appear on Saturday morning is Green Mountain Swing, a 17-piece ‘big band’ that recently appeared at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. On Saturday afternoon, the Some Hollow Duo from Warren will perform indie rock/pop and alt. country tunes. On Sunday morning, Madigan Linnane, an emerging musician now splitting her time between Berkley School of Music and the Mad River Valley, will play in her modern folk/pop/indie musical style with songs that appeal to a broad audience. On Sunday afternoon the Medicine Tribe returns to the Craft Fair, featuring Colleen Mari Mays of Warren and Brent Thomas, an accomplished jazz bass musician, playing Americana-style covers and original songs.
It’s easy to make a day of it at the craft fair since folks refuel from shopping to have lunch or an adult beverage without leaving the fairgrounds. Wilcox’s lemonade and ice cream will be on hand with their from-scratch treats, and Rick’s Chuckwagon returns with good old American fare: hot dogs, sausages with onions and peppers, hamburgers, French fries, grilled cheese and more. New to the Craft Fair is Dougy Fresh Catering with lamb, beef, chicken, or vegan gyros with all the toppings plus fried risotto balls and Vermont-made sodas. Also new to the craft fair is Mexico in Vermont, authentic Mexican food including tacos, tamales, quesadillas and pastel tre leches.
The Valley Players community theater group purchased the craft fair in 1989, after 19 years of private ownership. Managed by Laura Arnesen and staffed by numerous volunteers, the fair provides support to maintain the Valley Players Theater. “The craft fair is our major source of funding for the year and is vital for the upkeep of our building,” said board of directors member Ruth Ann Pattee. “We hope our family of vendors and visitors alike will stop by our information tent as you enter the fair to learn more about the Valley Players and our upcoming productions.”
There will also be many door prizes announced throughout the fair on both days. Many area inns, artists, restaurants, and retail establishments are participating. Additional door prizes are welcome and can be donated by emailing Arnesen at
The Valley Players would like to remind everyone to please leave pets at home. For the full list of door prizes, artists, directions, and more information go tomadrivercraftfair.com.