Arts and Crafts Fair

Please note: The 2020 Arts and Craft Fair has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see our post about it on our blog here. We encourage potential vendors to email us their contact so we can add you to the mailing list for the 2021 event. Thank you for your continued support which helps sustain our 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Townsend Historical Society Statement on Fair Cancellation

Saturday, September 19th, 2020 (9AM-4PM)
and Sunday, September 20th, (10AM-4PM)

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!

Townsend Arts and Craft Fair
The Townsend Arts and Craft Fair is our annual fall fundraiser celebrating the handiwork of over fifty-five artisans and skilled workers.


We are excitedly planning the 39th Annual Townsend Historical Society Arts and Craft Fair. We invite you to join us. To make this event the best ever, we are reaching out to large number of vendors, advertising extensively and adding more complimentary activities. We will also continue to have music, artisan demonstrations and a few surprises to attract the most amount of visitors to the Common. We want this to be a destination marketplace for your handiwork. 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 Event is Juried…

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.

Approval Process: The fair coordinator will pre-screen applications for completeness and forward acceptable documents, including printed photos, onto a three to five member jury who will ultimately accept or decline the application. Rejected applicants are encouraged to resubmit if they can rectify any problems noted. Accepted applicants will receive a postcard if their application has been accepted and is before August 1, thereafter it will be email only. 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.

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 is grounds for rejection.

DeepWater Dye Works offered a rainbow’s worth of hand-spun yarn and hand-dyed fibers.
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 (mark on the plan on the back 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.


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 4 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 so please let us know if you have a hardship which may arise, for example a long distance traveler, from time to time.

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.


Regretfully, we must limit vehicular traffic on the Common to protect this historic resource. We will be available from 7 AM to unlock the gate to allow limited vehicle access to unload your goods. Please offload, remove your vehicle and return to setup. Please call us in advance if you have any special needs for moving your materials. Call 978-597-2106 to arrange for 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!


 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 on Saturday. 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.

Deadlines and Application Fees

Deadlines for application to the fair are as follows:
For one or both Fair days, the fee is the same:    
Through July 31 – $70
August 1 to September – $75

As a juried show, no applications can be accepted after September 4, 2020
(2 weeks prior to the event)

A $10 fee applies to cancellations on or after August 1, 2020. No refunds will be issued for vendors that cancel after September 1, 2019.

There is a $30 fee for any checks postdated, unsigned or returned for insufficient funds.

In the unfortunate circumstance that Covid-19 cancels 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.

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 far. 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 Have other vendor friends? Our Arts and Crafts Fair application and packet is also available here on our website: