Vendors, shoppers greet return of Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Craft Festival

  • After a pandemic-related hiatus in 2020, the 45th annual Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival returned to the Memorial Hall Museum’s grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • After a pandemic-related hiatus in 2020, the 45th annual Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival returned to the Memorial Hall Museum’s grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • After a pandemic-related hiatus in 2020, the 45th annual Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival returned to the Memorial Hall Museum’s grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • After a pandemic-related hiatus in 2020, the 45th annual Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival returned to the Memorial Hall Museum’s grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

Staff Writer
Published: 9/19/2021 5:26:23 PM

DEERFIELD — In its 45th year, the Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival attracted about 100 vendors to Memorial Hall Museum’s grounds and a steady flow of attendees perused their wares on Saturday and Sunday.

Show coordinator John O’Neill said that despite ongoing pandemic concerns, the outdoor market was “mobbed” with guests. The vendors, a congregation of artisans, craftspeople and museum booths, set up shop under tents across the lawn, leaving wide pathways for customers to wander.

A town tradition, O’Neill said the festival is past the point of trying to gain notoriety.

“It’s a social gathering place,” O’Neill said. “This is our 45th year, so we’re known. This is something people look forward to.”

In addition to providing a comfortable atmosphere for locals, the festival helps maintain a beloved town staple by raising money for the Memorial Hall Museum.

“This is one of our major fundraisers,” O’Neill said. “It supports our museum, it supports our children’s museum and it supports our educational programs.”

O’Neill said that after a year where the festival couldn’t happen due to COVID-19 restrictions, people were even more excited to come in 2021. He said he’d observed “increased enthusiasm on the part of the vendors and the public” throughout the weekend for this reason.

Terri Dodge, an Erving resident who said she’d been attending the festival for at least 15 years with her daughter, Jennifer, said she’s glad to be back after feeling the absence of the event in 2020.

“It’s a great way to celebrate the beginning of fall,” she said. “As a lover of seasons who frequently decorates for the seasons, it was sad (to not come last year). ... It’s good to be back.”

Becky Huntington, a quilter from Milton, embraced the seasonal theme of the festival with a selection of festive quilts bearing fall colors and holiday prints. Having participated in the festival for more than 10 years, Huntington said she appreciates the organic feel of the environment.

“The venue and what I do sort of fit together. It’s old-fashioned,” she said. “It’s not a harsh concrete floor like a convention center. It’s got its own ambiance to it.”

“It makes you feel homey,” Dodge said. “It makes you feel part of New England.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or
jmendoza@recorder.com.


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