Fredericksburg hosts arts and crafts fair

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Fredericksburg arts and crafts (Part 1)

During a unique pandemic year, folks got creative at home making various arts and crafts.

Now, they join the Fredericksburg Arts & Crafts Faire at the Fredericksburg Expo Center.

“It is one of the few craft shows occurring this weekend pretty much in the entire country,” Marketing Director Dave Kerper told WTOP. “The vendors [are] coming from pretty much all over. We’re proud to have over 125 handmade craft vendors. That means you will meet the artisans and the crafters who actually have that product right in front of you in their display booth.”

The event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“You never really know exactly what you’ll see until you get there,” Kerper said. “There’s people that make their own handmade pens, there’s people that make special bags from Zimbabwe … furnishings for baby dolls, a woman that makes art out of oyster shells, we have a winery for tasting, we have wood shop guys that just do incredible things, scarves, foods for you to taste.”

The goal is to offer affordable pricing for unique items you can’t find at major retailers.

“This is not super high-end, so the prices are not crazy,” Kerper said. “It’s all handmade by the artisans you will meet there. It’s stuff that you can not find in the big-box stores or on Amazon.”

Admission is $8 during the day or $5 in the evenings. Kids ages 12 and under get in free.

Tickets must be purchased online ($1.50 processing fee) for the purpose of social distancing.

“We’re not having a box office to try to mitigate people gathering in,” Kerper said. “The lobby used to get really crowded. … We’re selling the tickets by time slot. Your time slot is your time to arrive so that we can spread it out. We have a certain amount of people allowed in the building. … There’s hand sanitizers and you must wear a mask to enter into the doors.”

If you can’t make it out this weekend, next weekend is the “Everything But the Garage Sale.”

“It’s truly a multi-family garage sale inside the Fredericksburg Expo Center,” Kemper said. “It is a two-day event, April 17 and 18. … [Homeowners] come in with stuff that they have collected and cleaned out of their attics, sheds, garages. … One person’s junk is another man’s gold. … There’s people out there who love to go to garage sales. … It’s like over 100 garage sales under one roof.”

Ultimately, it’s a way to get out of the house and support craftsmen.

“People are just so happy to be out in a spot where they know is safe and comfortable and doing something they want to do,” Kemper said. “With Mother’s Day coming up, graduations and spring decorating … this is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts and decorations.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Fredericksburg arts and crafts (Part 2)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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