As for the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival itself, little will change. The festival will still feature the work of nearly 200 artists and artisans who come from all over the country. They design and make all their products and they come to the show, meeting and talking directly with their audience. It is a veritable marketplace of creativity where locally made goods form a bond between buyer and seller.
Works offered for sale include functional pottery, stained glass, leather bags, wall art, paintings, clothing, outdoor sculpture, furniture, specialty foods, wines, spirits, and a large selection of jewelry. In every booth the maker of the goods sells original handmade products, often with a story to share.
The festival is more than creative shopping. The food court offers an extensive menu with an emphasis on locally produced items including organic wood-fired pizza, spicy tacos, sesame noodles, grass fed beef burgers, toasted tofu, barbecue, Greek and Caesar salads, and Vermont cheese, beer, and sausages. To accompany the tasty victuals, there is live music in the dining tent along with eight seasonal Vermont craft beers.
Live music includes Prydein on Saturday, and on Sunday, “Downtown” Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen perform. Prydein is an American Celtic rock band; when the bagpipe starts to blow, people in the audience are unable to stop themselves from jumping up and dancing. While Stannard is a local to Manchester, he gathers Those Dangerous Bluesmen from around the state and transforms them into a world class quartet for this weekend. His latest album is “Getting Older Every Day” and he will sign copies for customers who buy them. The band includes Danny Burks on drums, Kenny B, who has been the bassist of the Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson band, and Charlie Hilbert with searing guitar work. He has played recently with Harlem’s Satan and Adam.
The festival will have an expanded spirits tasting comprising a growing number of Vermont spirits producers. In addition to spirits, several wineries will be offering tastes and selling bottles of Vermont wines.
The Manchester Art and Craft Festival is an excellent way to spend an autumn day in Vermont with creative shopping, tasty lunch, live music, sipping Vermont craft beers, watching craft demos, and just plain enjoying being outside in the fall. No pets are allowed on the festival grounds, with the exception of service animals. The festival admission gate is cash only. Many exhibitors do accept credit cards.
For more complete information visit www.craftproducers.com or call the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce (802) 362- 2100.