Hampton Falls loves its crafts. The 11th annual Hampton Falls Craft Festival, happening Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15, was started at the request of fair exhibitors, says Terry Mullen, event coordinator at Castleberry Fairs.
“With a simple question to our artisans, we asked where they would like us to host an event. Hampton Falls was mentioned again and again,” she said.
The festival hosts 75 booths at the town common on Route 1, with work from local artisans.
Castleberry Fairs is a family business that has been producing arts and crafts fairs throughout New England since 1989. The Hampton Falls Craft Festival started in 2009.
“The fair is full every year and always has a waiting list [for vendors]. As for attendees, I would guess about 3,000 shoppers visit over the two-day weekend,” said Mullen.
Mara Wesolaski, owner of Handpainted By Mara, creates hand-painted folk art on a variety of everyday items, like towels and tissue boxes, as well as large paintings. She is a regular at Castleberry Fairs events and appreciates the popularity of Hampton Falls Craft Festival.
“The central and beautiful location … draws a crowd with diverse tastes and desires,” she said. “It’s a very popular and well-attended fair.”
Valley View Maple Farm, which sells its maple products and hand-crafted wooden gift boxes, also enjoys having a booth at Hampton Falls.
“It’s a beautiful venue for a craft fair with lots of traffic and customers,” said Gaetane Kezar, owner of the farm in Springfield, N.H., with her husband Ben.
As for Liberty Farm and Forge, a blacksmith shop in Maine, the best part of being at the Hampton Falls Craft Festival is the people. Liberty Farm and Forge makes decorative metal craft items from recycled iron and steel.
“What we are really known for is our metal animation. We absolutely love showing [these works] to children and we consider it a privilege when families take the time to visit us,” said Debbie Liberty of Liberty Farm and Forge. “It all adds up to a memorable visit [with your family].”
Besides the artisan booths, visitors can sample homemade specialty foods like fruit spreads, herbal dips, olive oils and fudge. There is also live jazz performed on the bandstand, and many attendees enjoy stopping by the food booth run by the Hampton Falls Fire Department.
“The folks in the Hampton Falls area have a great appreciation for the hand-crafted tradition,” said Mullen.
Attendance at the Hampton Falls Craft Festival is free, and the town common has plenty of free parking. The fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
— Danielle Roberts