The Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair is our area’s highly anticipated annual celebration of all things handmade. Artists and craftspeople come from all over to hawk their creative output to eager crowds of aesthetically pleased patrons.
This year, the fair celebrates its 42nd anniversary and 80th show overall as it runs from Sat. May 27 to Mon. May 29th, 10am-5:30pm at Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz.
Bringing together a wide range of talented small businesses from across the country, the fair offers an extensive selection of handmade goods spanning more than a dozen categories. Attendees explore (or, perhaps more accurately, hunt for) a wide array of unique finds for their homes, bodies, and beyond, including wares as diverse as wearable fiber art, mixed media wall art, hand-thrown porcelain table settings, jewelry, garden ornaments, and dining room tables.
This year’s event will highlight work from, among others, mixed media milliner Paul Reeves. Yeah, I didn’t know what a milliner was either. Reeves will show you firsthand, providing a live demonstration of women’s hat-making techniques using a steamer. Another featured vendor is Bar Fiore, a vintage-inspired flower truck offering visitors the chance to create their own spring bouquets, infusing the festivities with the vibrant colors of the season.
Recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the nation’s top ten contemporary craft shows, the fair is organized by Quail Hollow Events, known for their careful curation of exhibitors and commitment to showcasing high-quality handmade products. Ola Rubinstein, the fair’s director, emphasizes the festival’s unique appeal, stating, “The Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair creates a dynamic environment where talented exhibitors engage with an enthusiastic public. Artists value the opportunity to share their creative process and interact one-on-one with visitors, while attendees appreciate the chance to learn about the history and craftsmanship behind the unique pieces they acquire.” The fair’s ability to foster connections and cater to diverse tastes has led to impressive growth for the fair over the decades.
In addition to the wide array of crafts available, fairgoers can enjoy ongoing craft demonstrations and indulge in a variety of small-batch, artisanal and prepared-on-site foods. The fair offers wine and spirits tastings, as well as the opportunity to sip some beer or wine slushies while browsing or listening to live musical performances. A picturesque setting at the foot of the Shawangunk Ridge provides a scenic backdrop for enjoying lunch. Culinary options are abundant, featuring an eclectic range of delicacies, from lobster rolls and tempeh reubens to fried noodles and crepes. Families attending the fair can also take advantage of a complimentary children’s craft tent, stocked with a wide range of materials, many of which are generously supplied by the exhibiting artists. As a special highlight this year, visitors to the children’s tent will have the opportunity to create their own bird feeders every hour on the hour.
More information can be found online at quailhollow.com.