By Meredith Schneider
Craft shows exist all over the United States, from simple Farmer’s Markets to giant festivals that incorporate family fun and sometimes music. We scoured the internet to find the best up-and-coming craft shows. Here is a list of seven of the most sought-after shows to consider planning an entire vacation around. Can you say, “Road trip?”
One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago – Chicago, IL
If you love when exhibits and shows can be as up front as possible, One of a Kind, stays true to its title in elementary, even award winning fashion. Having earned a Sunshine Artist 200 Best stamp of approval and boasting more than 600 exhibitors at their upcoming show this year, One of a Kind’s jury process of industry experts and show management knows genuine talent just needs a platform.
“The One of a Kind Show features original work from more than 600 juried artists, craftspeople and designers from around the world,” explains Director of Marketing, Aida Sarvan. “Visitors can meet the artists, learn the stories behind their work and shop the best in fine art and fine craft. The show is a great alternative to retail shopping during a holiday season when everyone is looking for something special for their loved one. In addition to one of a kind shopping, attend artist demonstrations, join in crafting workshops and enjoy gourmet cafes, fashion shows and live music.”
For a sneak peak of the wonders of this winter event, check out the Instagram feed. Visitors to the show are welcome to explore “Friends Day Out” packages and special hotel rates for the event.
The Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival – Lancaster, PA
If you’re looking for a Labor Day weekend getaway, look no further than The Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival. Now in the fest’s 35th year, past shows have been curated with 200 incredible talents from across America — alcoholic beverages, live music, and amazing food are to be enjoyed as well. Proceeds go back to the community and benefit the Long’s Park Summer Music Series.
An artist explain their work at the 2012 Long’s Park Festival. Photo courtesy of Long’s Park Arts and Craft Festival.
Bayou City Art Festival – Houston, TX
Every spring, when the weather warms up and the green grass comes up, thousands of crafters head to Houston to duke it out at the Bayou City Art Festival. (Who are we kidding? It’s always beautiful in Houston!) The festival takes place over a spring weekend (this year, it was March 22-24) at Memorial Park. The festival boasts featured artists as well as emerging artists, so there is something to celebrate at every step of the creative process. This year, guests enjoyed special areas for children and a Global Culture Stage that featured a wide range of musical talent all day Saturday and Sunday.
Though it does cost a small fee to attend the festival, rest assured that all proceeds benefit Arts and Community Service Non-profit organization.
Urban Craft Uprising – Seattle, WA
Looking for an amazing time in the Pacific Northwest? Look no further than Urban Craft Uprising! By far one of our absolute favorite craft shows, it showcases local artists and their incredible treasures. Though it’s known as “Seattle’s Largest Indie Craft Show”, it is still relatively small compared to the national circuit, but on the way up. President of UCU Kristen Rask tells us of the fest’s consistent expansion. “We had close to 500 applications for this summer’s show and we only take about 140-150. We jury as a team together to make a well-rounded, unique show. Each show is curated as a new show so we always have new, exciting vendors as well as some old favorites. This summer we had over 80 applications from outside of WA and OR, so I think it’s becoming more and more appealing.”
This year’s show will take place July 13th and 14th at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Enjoy beautiful Seattle this summer, and hone in on your crafting skills!
Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fairs – Woodstock, NY
When you think Woodstock, insane rock music in a psychedelic time probably fills your mind. That might change once you visit the Woodstock-New Paltz Arts & Crafts Fairs. The event is so big, it boasts two weekends in The Hudson Valley—Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. So if you’re looking for a last minute trip this weekend, this is your destination. Plus, featured work isn’t limited to art you might find in a museum. There are handcrafted specialty foods and healthcare products, incredible furniture, architectural wonders, and a children’s tent.
Sacramento Art Festival – Sacramento, CA
Many forget that Sacramento is actually the capital of the state of California, hence one of the biggest craft shows in the state—Sacramento Art Festival—would be held in this beautiful city. Head downtown to the Sacramento Convention Center on the first weekend in November for a chance to catch comedy acts, live jazz, scrumptious food, and a whole lot of crafting fun at the 16th Annual Sacramento Art Festival, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
“Out of town craftspeople have the opportunity to come to Sacramento, a wonderful California city with loads of history and recreation, and just a jump to either San Francisco or the Sierras,” boasts Warren Cook, producer of the festival. “Many of our exhibitors say it’s the ‘funnest’ show they do all year with very appreciative customers, exciting entertainment & food and presented in a first-rate facility.”
Annual Smithsonian Craft Show – Washington, DC
To round out our list, why not bring it back to one of the most impeccable art establishments in the world? This year’s Annual Smithsonian Craft Show took place the weekend of April 25th at the National Building Museum. It is by far one of the swankiest shows in the country, with panel discussions, dinners by design, and a lecture by Martha Stewart. If you’re looking for a high end craft show that delegates awards and has benefit dinners, then visit our country’s capitol for a gorgeous weekend of high-end crafts in the springtime!