Event Spotlight: Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

Nicole SteegerContributor

If you live in the Northeast and are a lover of all things unique and artistic, you should mark your calendar for an upcoming Sugarloaf Crafts Festival.  For the past 35 years Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc. have put on the Sugarloaf Craft Festivals, providing emerging and established artisans with a marketplace to showcase and sell their distinctive creations in sculpture, ceramics, glass, furniture, home décor, photography and fine art.

Each Sugarloaf Crafts Festival is a 3 day weekend event that also features live entertainment, lots of food, family activities and demonstrations from master craftspeople. The first Sugarloaf Crafts Festival was held in 1976 in Gaithersburg, Maryland and attracted over 10,000 visitors. To this day the Gaithersburg, Maryland show remains the flagship event of the organization.

There are thirteen shows held each year in major cities like Philadelphia, D.C., Baltimore, Washington, New Jersey and Hartford. The shows take place in the early part of the year from January to April and again in the fall from September to December. Nearly 350,000 people visit the Sugarloaf Craft Festivals each year, enjoying all the marketplace and festival have to offer. The shows generate over $20 million annually in arts and crafts purchased directly from the artists. How's that for stimulating the economy?!

Each year different bands are booked to entertain the massive crowds that attend the show. For the past few years, festival co-founders Deann and George Verdier have turned to GigMasters to help make their entertainment selections. This year GigMasters’ smooth jazz band Alphatjazz (Mclean, VA) will perform at the festival on September 30th. When looking for entertainment for the shows, Sugarloaf Chairman George Verdier says he searches for top quality acts to entertain the diverse demographic of show attendees. Verdier also let us know why he turns to GigMasters when booking acts for his shows: “For music it gets me several groups in each market bidding the gig. I can easily review their press materials, images, videos and music cuts in one place. It organizes what has been for decades a very tedious project. Price for booking the acts has been reasonable as have GigMasters fees for us as purchasers. I tell each act that contacts us now that we are looking for our music talent on GigMasters for the foreseeable future.” GigMasters is proud to have our bands play these shows and be a part of such wonderful events. Visit Sugarloaf Craft Festivals to view their complete show schedule.

Have you checked out a Sugarloaf Crafts Festival?  Let us know your thoughts on these shows in the comments below.