Saturday, July 11 Craftsbury will hold its 45th annual Antiques and Uniques Festival. What makes this event different from other antique shows and craft fairs? Besides the bucolic Craftsbury Common setting, farm-fresh localvore food offerings and over 100 antique, craft and specialty food vendors, the difference is in how the event is run and who benefits from its proceeds.
The festival was established in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Children's Aid Foundation. When the foundation folded, the town didn't want to see the annual event disappear.
"Craftsbury decided that it was going to take a village to continue the festival tradition and therefore the entire village should benefit from it – and benefit they do," an event news release states.
The release goes on to explain how the event is run:
Individuals who wish to volunteer for Antiques and Uniques keep track of the work hours they accumulate and choose a Craftsbury non-profit or organization that they wish to represent. At the end of the event, all proceeds are distributed to the various organizations. This means, that the entire town benefits from the festival because of the generosity of the volunteering patrons.
The event happens rain or shine and includes games for children and "senior seating." The proceeds distributed to the town's nonprofit entities come from booth fees, a local fare barbecue tent and a silent auction. The event is free of charge. Parking is a suggested $5 donation to the Craftsbury Fire Department.