Iconic Woodstock-New Paltz Art and Crafts Fair is Paradise For Lovers of the Handmade | Sponsored | Festivals | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
This Labor Day weekend, the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz will transform into a wonderland of creativity, packed with dozens of masterful makers: fiber artists, metal sculptors, woodcrafters, fine artists, jewelers and more. This feast of beauty, the Woodstock-New Paltz Art and Crafts Fair, has been happening each Memorial Day and Labor Day for nearly four decades, and Director Ola Rubinstein—a member of the second generation of the founding family—wants to see it carry on for at least forty more.

You will fall in love with things, even if you’re not a “thing” person. The sheer variety and quality of the juried and 100% handmade goods on offer makes it inevitable. “We have one woman who’s been coming every year for fifteen years and choosing herself a piece each time, and she tells us her whole place is decorated from here. She loves knowing the story behind every item,” says Rubinstein. “We have people who’ve been to each of the 72 shows as visitors, and seven of the original vendors are still with us; it’s become quite a community of creativity.”
  • Photo Courtesy of avalove
That’s why you’ll also fall in love with the vibes. As with certain other events that were originally intended for Woodstock but ended up elsewhere—when the founders saw the spacious Ulster County Fairgrounds and the accompanying mountain backdrop, they realized that Plan B was exactly what was meant to happen in the first place—you’ll find love, peace and music prevailing, and a lot to do that’s free as the air.

“You can just grab a drink and walk around listening to live music—we have four acts a day—and interact with artisans as they demo their various processes,” Rubinstein says. “There are so many demonstrations that run the gamut from hammock-making, Adirondack chair-making, Alpacas and the fiber art handspun from their fleece—that you can walk around for hours just soaking up the mastery.”
  • Photo Courtesy of Trees to Dreams
What’s that you say? Your kindergartener would never let you dally over racks upon racks of jewelry and hand-carved lamps? This Fair has you covered. There’s a secure, complimentary kids’ drop-off area where the little ones can do some making of their own with all kinds of materials (participating vendors donate scraps to the cause) and some entertainment each day is targeted directly at the younger set.

Besides the durables, you’ll find handcrafted specialty foods and healthcare products and (of course) fine craft beverages. And everything is curated with the same kind of love and care that a passionate maker puts into every piece. 
  • Photo Courtesy of KlayWare
“It’s like building a city twice a year,” says Rubinstein. “We avoid saturating the market with any one category, taking care to ensure that each booth compliments the neighboring ones and has enough space to spread out.” You won’t be dealing with disinterested salesclerks; creators are required to be directly involved and love nothing more than discussing their inspirations and methods.

Visit the Woodstock-New Paltz Arts and Crafts Fair August 31,10 am-5:30 pm; September 1, 10 am-5:30 pm; and September 2, 10 am-4:00 pm. The Quail Hollow folks are also producing the first-ever Oktoberfest Handcrafted at Rhinebeck: A Family Harvest Celebration the first weekend of October. Mark your calendar now, because once you get a taste of Quail Hollow style, you’ll be hankering for more.

Discount tickets, weekend passes, coupons, entertainment schedule, media galleries, and more are available at www.quailhollow.com.
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