Labor Day weekend means that it’s time for the Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair to come to the Ulster County Fairgrounds again. A temporary bridge over the Wallkill River at the base of Main Street while the Carmine Liberta Memorial Bridge is being rebuilt means that traffic through New Paltz will likely be slower than usual. So come early this year, before the cars are backed up to Thruway Exit 18, or do what the locals do and come around the long way to Libertyville Road via the Route 44/55 bridge in Gardiner.
Adding to the appeal of the Labor Day weekend installment is a live demonstration of the art of ornamental masonry by Woodstock resident Buazza Raal. The Algerian-born artisan is known for his work with the Catskills’ native bluestone, building stone walls, walkways, patios, waterfalls, fishponds, wood-burning ovens and outdoor kitchens. At the Crafts Fair he will ply his trade in real time, creating a bluestone fountain over the three days of the event.
As for the rest of the event, there’ll be thousands of choices of handmade jewelry, housewares, clothing, accessories, home décor, toys, furniture and food products. Some 300 skilled artists and artisans will have their finest works in fabric, leather, pottery, metal, glass, wood, paper, stone, feathers and just about any other imaginable material on display. It’s a juried show, so there’s no junk, but many prices are more affordable than you might imagine.
The Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, September 5, Labor Day. The price of entry is $9 general admission, $8 for seniors. Children aged 12 and under get in free, and there’s a hands-on crafts activities tent where kids can entertain themselves under adult supervision while Mom and Dad shop. Parking is free. For more info, visit www.quailhollow.com.