A Guide to Craft Fairs in Southern New Hampshire Area During Summer 2011

Are you looking for a fun arts and crafts festival to either show off your own handmade items or bring your whole family to for an enjoyable day? This summer there will be tons of arts and crafts festivals around the southern New Hampshire area. Here are five of many that will be taking place this summer that I think everybody should go to. They are all really big events that have been held for decades and have long histories of success. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for something to do on a nice summer day, I highly recommend making the drive to one of these festivals and taking in a day’s worth of activities, fun, and entertainment.

1. The Lakes Region Fine Arts & Crafts Festival (Meredith, NH)
Dates: August 27 & 28
Times: 9am-5pm
Location: 312 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith, NH 03253
Celebrating its 32nd year this summer, Gunstock has hosted the Lakes Region Fine Arts & Crafts Festival up in Meredith, NH for over three decades! One of the biggest events of the year in Meredith, the fair is held outdoors along Main Street in the Meredith Village Shops and the Mills Falls Marketplace. The event is so big that Main Street is shutdown during the event! The festival is perfect for the whole family as there will be arts, crafts, music, food, and entertainment aplenty! To be a part of this special event, you can get more information from the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce website.

2. Bow Street Fair (Portsmouth, NH)
Date: Mid-July
Time: TBD
Location: 125 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Located in downtown Portsmouth, the Bow Street Fair has become a staple of summer craft fairs. Celebrating its 44th year this summer, the fair will feature the best handcrafted items from local artists and craftsmen. The entry fee is $200 ($150 if your application is received before April 1st). To apply, and for more information on what needs to be provided with your application, head over to the Seacoast Repertory Theatre website and get yourself entered.

3. Market Square Day (Newburyport, MA)
Date: Tuesday, August 2 (Rain date: Wednesday, August 3)
Times: 9am-5pm
Location: Market Square (Newburyport, MA 01950)
Each summer, Newburyport, Massachusetts is the host of Yankee Homecoming, a week long celebration aimed at growing town pride and bringing tons of people into the area to check out what Newburyport has to offer. This year marks the 54th year this event will be held. Each year there is a craft show in Market Square, and this year will be no different. All entrants in the craft show will showcase their handmade items. If you would like to enter your items in the show, you can go to the Yankee Homecoming website and fill out the application. Yankee Homecoming is a great way to get your name out there and your handmade items seen by tons of people.

4. Gunstock Summer Craft Festival (Gilford, NH)
Dates: July 2-4
Times: Saturday (10am-6pm), Sunday (10am-5pm), Monday (10am-4pm)
Location: Gunstock Recreation Area (719 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford, NH 03249)
This summer, Gunstock will be hosting its 40th annual Summer Craft Festival. The festival will be held rain or shine and will be showcasing some of the best handcrafted items and fine arts & crafts from around the area. Each entrant will be provided with a 10′ by 10′ space outside or a 10′ by 8′ space indoors for $275. To get more information on the event and how you can enter your own crafts in the fair, head over to the NorthEast Craft Shows website.

5. Portsmouth Open Market (Portsmouth, NH)
Dates: Every Sunday, June 5 – October30
Time: 10am-4pm
Location: Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801)
Although primarily a farmers market, the Portsmouth Open Market is just that – open. The application on the Strawbery Banke Museum website allows for any type of item to be sold at the market, it just has to have prior approval from the market organizers. Even better, there is no entry fee! You just have to fill out the application and you’ll be one step closer to showing off your handmade items.

Sources: “2001 Lakes Region Fine Arts and Crafts Festival,” Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce. “Bow Street Fair,” Seacoast Repertory Theatre. “Craft Show – Market Square Day,” Newburyport Yankee Homecoming. “40th Annual Gunstock Summer Craft Festival,” NorthEast Craft Shows. “Farmers Market at Strawbery Banke Museum,” Portsmouth Open Market.