Seek refuge from pub crawls and pinching this St. Patty's Day weekend at these lovely craft fairs. In the south, the Northeast Alabama Craftsmen Association and the Resources for Independent Living host separate craft fairs to benefit local charities. In the west, enjoy talented quilters and then head east for a plethora of traditional crafts.
While we can't write about every craft fair and marketplace happening across the country (or the world), we do like to highlight a handful of notable ones each week. If you'd like more people to know about your craft show or ever, list it on our Craft Map and we'll gladly consider it for coverage. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Oaks
Keep driving past the King of Prussia mega-mall to this mega-craft fair where you can browse 250 booths and participate in hands-on demos with woodworkers, potters and paper makers.
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, Pennsylvania; Fri-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5; sugarloafinfo@SugarloafFest.com; Sugarloafcrafts.com.
13th Annual Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Spring Fever Festival
I read kettle korn and fudge and started looking at Zip Car prices. This fair claims to be the area's biggest spring arts and crafts fair with 180 vendors. Besides yummy treats crafters will be selling pet collars, purses, clothing, scented candles and lawn decorations.
209 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville, Pennsylvania; Fri-Sat 10-5 and Sun 10-4; email@example.com; Spring Fever Festival; Adults $5.5, Seniors 65+ $5, 6-12 yrs $1, under 6yrs free
8th Annual Art and Crafts Show and Sale
Come support and admire the handy works of disabled crafters from around the Richmond, Virginia area. The independent nonprofit Resources for Independent Living (formerly The Central Virginia Independent Living Center, Inc.) hosts the show each year.
Northeast Alabama Craftsmen Association Spring Craft Show
Here's another good cause craft show from the south! All proceeds of NACA shows go to Huntsville charities or 2 to 4 year scholarships for local students. The 100-member strong association has donated $850,000 since its founding in 1973.
Von Braun Center South Hall, 700 Monroe Street, Huntsville, Alabama; Fri and Sat 9-7, Sun 12-5; 256-883-2199 or 256-539-9055; Neaca.org
Spring Treasures Crafts and Art Fair
This craft fair's vendors sell a little bit of everything form needlepoint to pottery. Also, for $3 (and free the second day if you don't wash off your stamp), it's not a bad weekend excursion.
Waukesha Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, Wisconsin; Sat. 10-4, Sun 11-4; firstname.lastname@example.org; CraftProductions; $3 or free for 15 yrs and younger
St. Patrick's Day Craft and Art Fair
Head to small-town Colorado to browse the wares of about 35 vendors. You'll find baby outfits, chocolate, woodwork and jewelry all from local businesses and crafters.
Voices in Cloth 2012
Glean inspiration and admire more than 200 quilts featured at this year's East Bay Heritage Quilters quilt show. In addition to drooling, show-goers can participate in a silent auction, door raffles and demos. There will also be an exhibit of quilts from The African American Quilt Guild of Oakland and an exhibit filled with quilts made by kids.
1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond, California; Sat 10-5, Sun 10-4; email@example.com; VoicesinCloth; Adults $12, kids $3, 4 and younger are free
Photo credits (from top): NEACA, Sugarloaf, Family Festivals, Be*mused, easy-child-crafts.com, Feelingstichy.com, Blick Art Materials, and East Bay Heritage Quilters.