Arts and Crafts Fair

Saturday, September 16th, 2023 (9AM-4PM)
and Sunday, September 17th, (10AM-4PM)

UPDATED, 09/16/2023: Please note that due to weather on Saturday, 9/16, the Arts & Crafts Fair for 2023 will run on SUNDAY 9/17 ONLY. The cancellation of Saturday’s activities does not effect Sunday. We will see you on the Town Common, Sunday 9/17 from 10 AM – 4 PM. Vendors have been notified of this change.

The Arts and Crafts Fair is located on historic Town Common in the heart of Townsend, Massachusetts, at the junction of Route 119 and 13. Food and Snacks are available and there are restroom facilities on site. Please join us and help us make our annual event a success!

The Townsend Arts and Craft Fair is our annual fall fundraiser celebrating the handiwork of seventy-five artisans and skilled workers. This view is looking at the heart of the fair from our historic bandstand.


We are excitedly planning the 42nd Annual Townsend Historical Society Arts and Craft Fair. We returned to our historic Common with vigor. We welcomed several thousand visitors of the course of the weekend and were happy to be back to an in-person event. We are beginning early, inviting existing and new vendors to join us for 2023. We will have music, artisan demonstrations, and a few surprises to attract the most amount of visitors to the heart of our community. We appreciate your skills and are confident our visitors will too.

Please read the following information carefully as the rules of the fair are outlined here followed by the application form. Failure to follow these directions and rules is grounds for rejections or dismissal.

Fair Requirements:

The Townsend Historical Society is looking for vendors that have quality, handmade products that show creativity and technical expertise. Components of the products that are not handmade must be of high quality and cannot dominate its appearance. Factory-produced items or objects made from kits are unacceptable. You will be asked to leave the Common immediately if these rules are not followed. Applications are reviewed by a three-person committee made up of the fair coordinator and two additional jurors. Applicants will receive a mailed/emailed notification if your application has been accepted. Late applications will be rejected.

Categories of Work (but not limited to):

  • Baskets, botanicals, glass, leather, woodworking, metal casting, dolls, jewelry
  • Fiber and textile arts like knitting, rug braiding, rug hooking, embroidery, quilting, weaving, spinning, sewing
  • Artwork, calligraphy, photography, prints, wood carving, clay
  • Foodstuffs such as honey and bee products, small batch preserves, etc.

Artisans who are willing and able to demonstrate their crafts are certainly welcome to the fair. We will attempt to accommodate your needs as best we can. We also want to make sure we highlight your activity.

Nonprofit and community organizations may setup a booth. Participants must fill out the same application as the vendors and receive approval from the fair coordinator.

IMPORTANT:  Photographs of your work and of your display must accompany your application. See details in the form for specific requirements. Failure to provide all the required information and payment is grounds for rejection.

DeepWater Dye Works offered a rainbow’s worth of hand-spun yarn and hand-dyed fibers.
Artsy Archaeology provides us with another great example of handiwork at the 41st annual Arts and Craft Fair. The jury looks for quality handcrafted items.
Space Allocation

Spaces are 10’x15’ and are marked on the application map. If you have a space preference, please include it in your application (indicate the number on the plan on the second page of the application form). We will try and honor requests if we can. Spaces with shade or access to electricity are limited, so get your request in early. We try not to locate artisans with similar products near to each other. Vendors selling edible crafts will be located toward the center of the event. Please erect your booth to allow ample flow of traffic to travel on the sidewalk. It should be 2′ back from the walk, allowing 3 additional feet to the rear if you use a standard 10×10 tent. Space may be limited if we choose to expand the number of spaces available.

Map of the Fair. Participants should indicate a booth location on their application and we will do our best to honor all requests. We make sure not to place participants selling the same items next to each other.


Fair hours are from 9AM to 4PM on Saturday and 10AM to 4PM on Sunday. You must check in by 8AM on Saturday and by 9AM on Sunday. If you are unable to come either day of the Fair, we would appreciate indication ahead of time or a phone call if an emergency (978-597-2106). Please store boxes, etc. under cloth-covered tables or in vehicles; nothing should obstruct the sidewalks on the Common. We do require that you do not break down your display until after 4PM on Sunday to be respectful of other vendors and our patrons.

You may setup on Friday evening after 5 and up to 7PM. Vendors with large setups or trailers are encouraged to use this to avoid navigation issues Saturday morning. Setup is done with the understanding that you alone are responsible for the security of your setup and belongings. We attempt to be accommodating and helpful so please let us know if you have a hardship which may arise, for example a long distance traveler, from time to time.

Setup on Saturday or Sunday is anytime after 7AM. To avoid chaos, we ask that vendors with an even number plan to arrive around 7:30AM, and those with an an odd number by 8AM to stagger arrivals. The fair opens promptly at the time noted so please plan to be ready for business.

Should you fail to notify the Coordinator of not participating on one or both days, your jeopardize your invitation for next year.  We want to know in advance so we can strategically place our vendors and prevent any gaps from forming.


Important for 2023: The Common has received new sidewalks. As a result, there will be no vehicular traffic on the common. No exceptions. Please plan on offloading your goods and walking them to your site. Please remove your vehicle and return to setup. If there are any special needs for moving materials, please call us in advance. Our telephone is 978-597-2106 where you can let us know if you need assistance.

Parking is limited and we will be enforcing strict requirements. During setup, you may park along the sides or rear of the Common, but you must move your vehicle after you are through unloading. Artisan parking is located along Osgood Street, or in the Town Hall Lot located off Riverbank Terrace. You must move your vehicle or we will ask you to remove it, resulting in a waste of time and potential loss of activity. We want you to be successful so be sure to follow this rule! If you need a ride back and forth to your car, we are happy to help. If you need someone to watch over your booth while you are gone, we will help. There is no vendor parking along the sidewalks on Route 119 or Route 13 sides of the Common or at any of the churches. Please keep Brookline Street and the lot to the back of the Common available for visitors!

There is a parking map in the information packet. It is subject to change, which is why it is not yet available on this page for general public. Please see the registration information for details.


You are responsible for your own belongings, however, we will be hiring overnight security for Saturday night only.


The Fair is scheduled for rain or shine. Please provide adequate cover for merchandise. As an early fall event, we have had all types of weather. It can range from beautiful warm and sunny to grey dull and rainy. Despite this variety, we usually have a steady stream of visitors throughout the day. Please make every effort to plan for all types of climates. An early departure is not kindly looked upon and a no show because of rain will remove you from the mailing list. It is not fair to your neighbors when the spot next to them is empty!

Vendor Donation

Returning this year, the Society will be conducting a raffle over the entire weekend. We are asking vendors to make a donation of your product, worth at least $15. We ask that all vendors contribute and provide a basic description so we can determine the space we need for our setup. Your donation offsets the need to raise vendor fees. Vendors helped us raise over $1,000 in 2022 so the collective contributions provide another attraction to the fair.

Deadlines and Application Fees

Deadlines for application to the fair are as follows:
For one or both Fair days, the fee for vendors is the same: $75

Nonprofit/Community Organizations may participate. If you wish to sell items at your booth, it is a $20 donation for a booth otherwise it is free to participate. You may share a booth with multiple organizations provided the participants are listed on the application. Participants supply their own tables, chairs, and cover.

A $10 fee applies to any cancellation prior to August 28. This fee covers the cost of processing the application. No refunds will be issued for vendors that cancel after August 28, 2023.

Deadline for publicity: Applications received by August 5, 2023
As a juried show, no applications can be accepted after August 28, 2023.

There is a $30 fee for any checks postdated, unsigned or returned for insufficient funds on top of the vendor fee. Vendors may now pay their fee via PayPal. After you have been approved, you can pay the fee using the link below. Please wait for instruction from the fair coordinator to do so. Failure to follow instruction will result in fees to cover the expense of returning funds.

In the unfortunate circumstance that Covid-19 causes us to cancel this event, we will return vendor application fees. We will make the appropriate determination at least one month in advance of the event as a courtesy to allow you to find other events.

42nd Annual Arts & Craft Fair Entry Fee

Vendors have the option to pay the fair entry fee either via cash/check (mailed or given in-person), or online. Please follow the instructions to make a payment if you wish to pay online via Paypal. Please do not submit your payment until your application has been approved by the Fair Coordinator. Contact us with any questions.


Application Submissions and Questions

Applicants may submit their applications online this year by emailing them to the fair coordinator at: Be sure to include a PDF of the application, and any attachments which are properly labeled. If you need assistance with the application, or have questions, you may reach our office by emailing or calling (978) 597-2106. Mailed applications (with payment) may be mailed to the Townsend Historical Society at P.O. Box 95, Townsend, MA 01469.

About Us and Event History

The Townsend Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of our local history. Headquartered in the historic Reed Homestead in Townsend Harbor, the organization maintains an archival center, museum and four other historic structures clustered in the heart of a former industrial village along the Squannacook River. Our collections span three centuries of history and we seek to share them by building bridges that connect to all aspects of everyday life. We welcome and encourage new members from all parts who share our passion for history, Townsend and the preservation of the arts and crafts.

Since 1981, the Townsend Arts and Craft Fair has been dedicated to providing an outlet for quality vendors and their wares. Townsend Common, the heart our community and illustrated below in 1880, provides the perfect backdrop for the fall fair. It is situated on a major crossroads with traffic traveling in all cardinal directions. North-Central Massachusetts is known for its antique trail, apple picking and as the gateway to the Monadnock region. The fair draws on local and regional tourism, and advertises extensively in order to receive the widest possible exposure. Our success has been measured through seeing familiar faces matched by an equal number of new visitors. The previous year, we had fifty-five vendors and over five-hundred visitors. We expect to match or exceed this goal again.

A view of Townsend Center in 1880 showing the Townsend Town Common, site of the Arts and Craft Fair.


 If you have questions, please call us at 978-597-2106 and leave a message. You may also send an email to and Have other vendor friends? Our Arts and Crafts Fair application and packet is also available here on our website: