The oldest, continuously running craft fair in the country–the Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair celebrates the “spirit of the maker” this year. It’s the Fair’s 76th year, and it gets underway August 1 at the base of the mountain at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury (NH).
Each piece of fine craft that is on display at the 76th Annual Craftsmen’s Fair has a story – one that expresses the vision, inspiration, skill, and personal history of the maker. These are artisans who make fine hand craft using traditional methods. By creating functional pieces using natural materials (many of which are native to New Hampshire) that have lasting value, they are contributing to the state’s legacy of craftsmanship and improving the sustainability of our community and environment. – LNHC
The fair will run August 1-9 with over 200 craft booths featuring contemporary and traditional jewelry, glass, pottery, prints, metalwork, fiber arts, woodcarvings, weaving, sculptures, furniture, and leatherwork. Visitors can meet and speak with the craftspeople and take in demonstrations and workshops on the traditional methods of making fine handcraft. A wide variety of craft-making will be on display, glass blowing, blacksmithing, woodcarving, and furniture building, just to name a few.
A favorite feature of the Fair is Living with Craft. There will be two exhibitions, Living With Craft and CraftWear, and an outdoor Sculpture Garden, illustrate the practical and decorative use of handcrafted items. Living With Craft features decorated room settings furnished entirely with handmade furniture and room accessories. CraftWear features unique “art-to-wear” clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The outdoor Sculpture Garden includes pieces such as garden ornaments and landscape sculptures.
The Fair is a must-attend event for craft collectors, and those who want to be. Norman Stevens on Sunday, August 9 (11 am and 1 pm) will talk about how he built his wooden spoon collection, which now includes just over 150 pieces. After purchasing his first hand-carved wooden spoon at an Annual Craftsmen in the early 1970s, he started to collect 9” wooden teaspoons created by spoon makers from throughout the world. A large selection of those spoons will be on display from 10 am through 3 pm.
Daily Features: Tour with a Master provides fairgoers with an in-depth view of how a particular craft is made. Each day, a League member will take fairgoers on a 45-minute tour of the craft booths and exhibitions, providing detailed commentary on the techniques and artistry that go into making that craft.
And daily musical performances are included in the Fair admission price. Visitors can enjoy high-caliber acoustic, bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, African, and big band musicians and performers will appear in the Performing Arts Tent.
Hours, Ticket Info and More: The Fair will be open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, rain or shine. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, active duty military (with ID), and groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the gate and include admission to all exhibitions and demonstrations, and a second day free return to the Fair.
Visitors can also purchase discount tickets ($2 off) on the League’s website, www.nhcrafts.org, through July 31. Also, advance discounted tickets ($1 off regular price) are available through July 31 at the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce office, 41 Main Street in New London.
Parking is free and childcare is available on site at $2 per hour. Picnic areas, as well as a food tent, indoor cafeterias, and an outdoor Garden Café (serving adult beverages) are open daily. No pets are permitted on the fairgrounds or left in cars in the parking lots.
The League of NH Craftsmen is a non-profit, craft education organization. Its mission is to encourage, nurture and promote the creation, use and preservation of fine contemporary and traditional craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community.