Last year, the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Joaquin forced the first-ever cancellation of the Waterford Fair. Despite the expected approach of Hurricane Matthew, the show will go on this weekend.
The fair opens on Friday for three days of activities in the National Historic Landmark village. It is the 72nd year for the crafts exhibit and homes tour. Among the new juried craft demonstrators participating this year will be a cooper, a maker of barrels and buckets; a woodworker who blacksmiths his own woodworking tools; and a rug hooker who uses traditional techniques to create contemporary designs.
New Fair Director Tracy Kirkman notes some changes this year, designed to make getting around the village a bit easier. The parking has changed, as the Schooley Mill field will no longer be used in that way. Instead, the large field will become the “agricultural area” where six area wineries and five breweries will be pouring.
Agricultural-themed artisans will be located in the field, along with a mini farmer’s market, a four-person Chefs’ Showcase, and the traditional display of antique farm equipment. On the Sunday, there will be a wine pressing demonstration using antique equipment by Fabbioli Cellars, and the traditional Civil War skirmishes.
There will be a photography exhibit and an extensive display of artwork for sales at the Schooley Mill Barn. The dried flowers exhibit will be at the Red Barn off Second Street.
At the Bond Street Barn area, there will be Revolutionary War encampments by Hessian soldiers and the 4th U.S. Infantry. At the Old School, the 8th Virginia Infantry will march and lead the procession to the Sunday morning service at the Union Cemetery.
Kirkman is excited by a new musician. “We have a 16-year-old banjo player named Victor Furtado. He’s won several awards and is considered a master banjo player at his age,” she said. Other favorites include bluegrass musicians Patent Pending, local performers Danny Nicely and Amy Curl, as well as traditional barbershop, song, dance and storytelling talents.
There will be four private houses open for public tours each day, including, for the first time, the Walker Phillips house. On Friday morning the Second Street School will have classroom demonstrations of the 1880 school; the building will be open for viewing all three days.
Kirkman is looking forward to her first fair. “I’ve had a lot of fun working on this,” she said, marveling at the number of people involved.
“I’m blown away by the volunteers’ level of enthusiasm to make it all happen.”
For a full schedule, go to waterfordfoundation.org.
What: 72nd Waterford Fair
When: Oct. 7-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $20 at the gate, $16 online, 12 and younger free.
Getting There: From Rt. 7 west of Leesburg, exit onto Rt. 9 and then follow Clarkes Gap Road to the village.