The 45th annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair will feature many local artists on Labor Day weekend. This craft fair, located at Kenyon’s Field in Waitsfield, runs Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Held under a large tent and outside under small display booths, the fair will be open rain or shine and is the finale event for the monthlong Festival of the Arts. There is no entry fee for children under 12. Parking is free and each ticket is good for both days and a discount on any Valley Players’ production.
“Mitchell Kontoff had the idea to buy the craft fair to help fund The Valley Players. It’s one of Mitchell’s many legacies and has allowed us to keep ticket prices low and remain a successful community theater. We love that the craft fair is all about artists helping artists and that our community is so supportive of all that we do,” said Jennifer Howard, chair of the Valley Players board.
More than 100 juried artisans from all over the Northeast and beyond present a wide variety of crafted products including recycled items, gold, silver and gemstone jewelry, hand-painted silk clothing, knitwear, fleece, furniture, pottery, glass, basketry, photography, sculpture, paintings and household items to name a few.
Local artists include Pam Barnes of Llama Love in Moretown exhibiting her clothing; Irene Pluntky-Goedecke of Fayston and New York City returns with her mostly silver and precious stone jewelry; Josh Axelrod (Roxbury) presents his photography; from Waitsfield, Ken Kenia of Mad River Antler presents his functional artistic furniture along with Gary Eckhardt’s paintings, Victoria Meade of Images in Glass brings her jewelry and Ken Amann of Amann Fine Leather returns with leather wallets, belts, bags and books; from Warren, Allyson Biondo brings her stained-glass jewelry and Mollie German presents her Mountain High Ceramics. Michael Cunningham (Granville) of Speed of Trees will display his furniture and wood sculpture.
Four live bands will play over the two days. Green Mountain Swing plays on Saturday (10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) This 18-piece big band plays Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington standards from the swing era as well as more modern favorites. On Saturday afternoon the Harwood Union jazz band (that played at The Warren Store on July 4) will wow the crowd. Sunday morning Colleen Mari and Soulstice Unplugged will perform acoustic blues-rock with roots reggae. Then on Sunday afternoon Tintype Gypsies, a duo comprised of Angus Chaney and Emily Nelson, will offer tunes invoking moonless crossroads of the South, the salty lilt of the Atlantic coast and the rushing steel rails and wide open road of 20th-century American folk-punk. They played at the Vermont Music Festival earlier this summer.
Food and Fun
Once again there is a contest to win a $100 shopping spree: “Like” the Mad River Valley Craft Fair on Facebook – www.facebook.com/madrivervalleycraftfair – to enter. The winner will be announced on September 1 and will have the opportunity to shop at the fair. In addition to the shopping spree, 20 lucky attendees will win door prizes and don’t have to be present to win.
Free knitting lessons for beginners and advanced will be held throughout the two days. Come to the demo area under the large tent at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday to learn how to knit or get help with a knitting project. Yarn and needles are available for purchase or to borrow. Each day at 1 p.m. join Sue McFarland for a felting workshop where the first 15 participants will make felted beads for free!
Mad River Massage offers seated massage with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Valley Players. A personal shopper is available to offer suggestions for those who need help in selecting a gift for birthdays, the winter holidays or special occasions. There are free kids’ activities including a bounce house and face painting. A selection of food to please every palate is available from snacks to barbecue, meatballs and vegetarian fare as well as outstanding sweets.
Please leave pets in the comfort of their own home. For more information call (802) 496-3409 or visit www.madrivercraftfair.com.