What’s new at the MRV Craft Fair after 46 years?

License plate light houses

License plate light houses

This year about 40 percent of the artists are new to the Mad River Valley Craft Fair and their work includes terrariums, lamps made out of dolls, birdhouses that look like lighthouses and are made out of license plates, felted animal Christmas tree ornaments, tie-dyed splatter paintings, paper and cloth boxes and more. The craft fair takes place Saturday, September 3, and Sunday, September 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CRAFT FAIR Man Cave

For the first time there will be tasting and purchasing of spirits for adults 21 and over at the craft fair. Appalachian Gap Distillery, Inc. will offer tastings and bottles for sale in an outdoor booth. Mad River Distillers will be in the tent on the hill as part of a “Man Cave.” People can taste spirits or purchase a cocktail or a bottle to take home. Have a seat at the bar or on a couch and relax or play ping-pong. All adults are welcome.

The food lineup includes Tyler’s Lemonade and fruit smoothies, Wilcox Ice Cream, Mr. Rick’s Chuckwagon, Juniper Fare’s beef and vegetarian burgers, chicken wraps and hand-cut french fries, plus a number of great desserts. Food vendors coming for the first time are The Waffle Shack and Three Mountain Cafe will have grab-and-go sandwiches and salads plus hot and cold coffee.

Two of the four live bands are new to the craft fair, although heard often throughout The Valley: The Phineas Gage Project and Peace in The Valley (this may be the last time they play in Vermont for a while).

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 under the tent on the hill. As usual, the craft fair hosts the Mad River Valley Rotary Duck Race with the winners announced immediately after the ducks float down the river at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The craft fair is located at Kenyon’s field on Route 100 just north of Waitsfield. The admission supports the Valley Players (children under 12 get in free), is good for both days and includes a chance for door prizes donated by local businesses. Owned and operated by the Valley Players, the entry ticket is good for a discount on any Valley Players production. Parking is free. Pets are not allowed. For more directions or information, go to www.madrivercraftfair.com.