Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival Back Again in Bennington

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After a rousing success in 2013, the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival is returning to Camelot Village in Bennington August 1, 2, & 3. 150 artists and artisans will display and sell their own handcrafted creations. The exhibitors will be housed in Camelot tents. In addition to the arts and crafts, there will be a Kids Zone, a food court, music, comic juggling, and Vermont Craft Beers.

Bennington was without a major craft show since the American Crafts Council departed Mount Anthony High School in 1972. In 2013 Craftproducers brought its famous Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival to Bennington. This event had been held at Hildene in Manchester for nearly 30 years. When Hildene announced that its Meadows would be converted into agricultural pasture land, Craftproducers was left without a venue for its summer show as well as the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival. As Necessity is often the Mother of Invention, Craftproducers listened to the overtures of the Bennington community and decided to move the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival there. Craftproducers Fall Manchester event was successfully moved to The Practice Tee at Riley Rink in 2013.

Now in its second year in Bennington, word has gotten out among the artists and artisans. ‘Bennington is back!” Seemingly, memories of the former craft show in Bennington were vividly alive. After 30 years the craft community still remembered the original craft market. The public came out in droves and avidly bought an abundance of craftworks. With such stellar sales, the grapevine spread the news. This year applications came in at a much higher rate so there will be more exhibitors and the quality of craftwork will be improved.

The show is hosted at Camelot Village, home of the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival. Camelot Village is worth a visit on its own. It is a sprawling multi-leveled barn full of antiques, collectibles, and furniture. The Festival is located on their lawns and pathways. There is a lovely food court under the shade of tall maple trees where picnic tables are available too.  A dining tent with tables and chairs provides shelter for eating lunch and listening to the live music. There is a different musical act daily: Saints and Liars on Friday, Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen on Saturday, and The Bondville Boys on Sunday. Comic juggler Jason Pipitone will provide the laughs with daily intermittent shows.

What’s a Festival without great food? This one will deliver delicious choices: wood over pizza, falafel, chicken wraps, vegetarian curry, steak sandwiches, Chinese dumplings, sesame noodles, Greek salad, sausage, pepper, and onion sandwiches, French fries, espresso and lattes, lemonade, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs, and kettle corn.

The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival will be held August 1, 2, and 3 at Camelot Village, 66 Colgate Heights, on route 9, a little over  a mile west of the Intersection of routes 7 and 9 in downtown Bennington. The Festival is open 10-5 on Friday and Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday. Adult admission is $8 and children are free. Rain or shine- under tents. No dogs, please. For more information, visit www.craftproducers.com/festivals/southern-vermont-art-craft-festival.

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