Artisan Fair June 2021

~ Joy Birdsey Smith

When Mike Blaudschun and I decided that we would try to do the once annual, (before COVID) Nelson Congregational Church Artisan Fair in 2021, we both were optimistic about this church fundraiser. We knew that we needed to limit our vendors to 25, so we were able to reach out to old and new Monadnock Artisans. The spaces filled very quickly with lots of enthusiasm! People wanted to show their beautiful wares. Next, Mike advertised with signs within a 25-mile radius everywhere! Prior to the event, folks were commenting on this upcoming day, excitement was building!

The day arrived with many early vendors and many wonderful volunteers happily helping our artisans unload their vehicles, put up their tents and tables, all with a smile. Complimentary coffee, homemade muffins, and fruit were passed around to artisans, who were anticipating upcoming sales. The weather turned favorable, with no rain in sight. We were ready!

Attendees and buyers chatted with Artisans as they browsed table after table and tent after tent. They caught up on the latest news. They bought food from the Nelson Congregational Church food booth and sat around the booth chatting for hours. The sea of colorful tents and the small clusters of people all smiling was a picture worth 2,000 words.

People talked, people caught up, they admired the work of those with a wonderful craft, and they bought goods.  They looked at the silent auction table. They saw friends and neighbors for the first time in almost 18 months. Folks enjoyed the live music from local musicians playing in an impromptu concert at noon. And everyone was happy!  At the end of the day, while tired from the warm sun, with more extraordinary volunteers assisting with the packing up vehicles and taking down the tents, those Artisans were happy!  ‘Yes, we want to come back next year’ all 25 conveyed to us.

Success is measured in many ways. Nelson Congregational Church’s Artisan Fair, June 26, 2021, was a success. Yes, it was the first fundraiser since COVID began, but more importantly, it was an event that we all needed to share. We needed to see and be with those neighbors and friends or make new friends. We needed to be together!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for making this event a huge success! This is just what we all needed.  We look forward to next year.