Event Information

Waterford Fair 2019

Historic Landmark Village of Waterford
Waterford, Virginia (South)

Phone: 540-882-3018
Event Dates: 10/4/19 - 10/6/19
Application Deadline: 4/16/19 Midnight EST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 6 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Application Fee): $40.00

You can submit up to 2 applications for this show.


Event Summary

The 75th Annual Waterford Fair, a juried artisan exhibition with demonstrations and retail sales, will be held in the National Historic Landmark village of Waterford. This truly unique setting gives the 125 heritage and contemporary artisans accepted a beautiful backdrop to demonstrate, sell their products and cultivate lasting relationships with loyal buyers.  
The 15,000+ visitors who attend annually enjoy strolling through the streets, touring homes, learning about the artisans and their work and purchasing their wares. Fair organizers cater to all artistic preferences and budgets of the attendees. The result is a tasteful selection of juried high-quality, handmade products in eleven (11) media categories. 

Founded in 1733, Waterford is situated in western Loudoun County – DC’s wine country. For the 10th year in a row, Loudoun County, Virginia, has been named the No. 1 county in America for median household income, this year coming in at $134,464, according to U.S. Census Bureau reports. The second highest rated county, Fairfax, is our easterly neighbor.

Over the years, artisans have come to appreciate the warmth of the Waterford welcome and the support they receive from our well-educated and loyal clientele, villagers and volunteers. Many stay with local residents, forgoing hotels and the associated expenses.
The funds raised by the Waterford Fair support the preservation/education efforts of the Waterford Foundation, a 501(c)(3). Watch previous Fair video.

General Information

Take advantage of the Early Bird Registration Fee savings. Apply before 5 pm on March 15 and save $10 (reg. $40)!

What a fellow artisan had to say about last year's Fair -- 
"I drove 1,680 miles round trip to participate in the 2018 74th Annual Waterford Fair and I can say without hesitation, it was worth ever mile. The autumn season is a popular time for fairs, but this is the one you want to be at.
The historic town of Waterford provides the perfect backdrop, and the show organizers and volunteers could not have been more accommodating and professional. Visitors were plentiful, sophisticated, and enthusiastic spenders. Offering a kid’s activity and demonstrating at the booth drove traffic, definitely increase sales, and created an energy, excitement, and level of engagement with the visitors that few shows can match. The caliber of artist was impressive, and our neighboring artisans couldn’t have been more professional, supportive during set-up and show hours, and fun to be with; we left with new friends, and promises to return next year.
As Artists, our time and resources are limited, so we need to pick shows carefully, but this is a pick that pays-off. Great venue, great people, great exposure, great energy, and strong sales. Hope to be back next year, and hope to see you there!" from a Galena, IL based artisan.


Works eligible for exhibition include traditional and contemporary basketry, clay, fiber/textile, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media/other, paper and wood. Note: Artists wishing to exhibit jewelry and another media MUST submit an additional application for their jewelry and may not exhibit jewelry unless this application is accepted. Maximum of two (2) entries per demonstrating artisan accepted.

The Waterford Fair is open to demonstrating artisans who produce fine goods, crafted using materials and tools traditionally used in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Goods may be traditional or contemporary in style.  We are looking for both seasoned and innovative, young artisans. All work must be original in concept and design and be made and displayed by the artisan. All displayed work must be for sale, with prices clearly marked. Artisans may also take orders for works but must work directly with purchaser.
We strive to offer a varied group of artisans who will teach fairgoers about the methods and tools used, as well as the provide for purchase the finished items. The Waterford Fair invites the fairgoer to enjoy the process as much as the product. Artisans must demonstrate their knowledge and skill approximately 50% of the time during the three-day event. Selection is based on craftsmanship and the artisan’s knowledge of the art form.

Media Definitions
Basketry: Functional and sculptural works where the material used is woven or plaited.
Clay: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is clay.
Fiber/Textiles: Wall hangings, quilts, rugs, wearable items, etc. where the primary material is fiber.
Furniture: Work where the primary intention is furniture, including clocks and lamps. All media are included.
Glass: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is glass that has been hand formed, hand worked, hand-blown or hand cast.
Jewelry: Work made from precious or semi-precious materials as well as other materials such as glass, ceramic, paper, fiber, wood, leather and polymer clay.
Leather: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material used is leather.
Metal: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is metal, and includes all non-sculptural, non-jewelry works crafted from metals.
Mixed Media/Other: Work where the primary intention of the work is the union of two or more media. Soft sculptures, musical instruments, candles, brooms, kaleidoscopes are included in this category.
Paper: Functional and sculptural work created primarily from paper.
Wood: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is wood. Original works must be hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved.

Work must be produced by the exhibiting artisan, whose manipulation of the chosen media exhibits an excellence in concept and technique, as well as the mark of individuality. Work exhibited must be consistent with the quality shown in the juried digital images. NO BUY/RESELL, commercial or imported products, items made from kits or green-ware, or mass-produced items will be accepted. Waterford Fair reserves the right to require that any inappropriate or ineligible work be removed. The Waterford Foundation also reserves the right to refuse any artisan admission to the event.

Image Submissions
When completing the application, one (1) booth image and five (5) product images are required, of which one (1) image must show the artisan at work in their studio or make area.

Artisan Amenities
• Vehicle unloading/loading at booth space, weather permitting
• Free artisan parking
• Complimentary invitation to the Preview Party on October 3, 2019
Free local lodging (first come; first serve basis) in the village and surrounding communities
• Individual artisans listed on Fair website and in social media
• Designated Area Chairperson onsite to assist with any questions or concerns during the event
• Complimentary media files (JPEG/PDF) or printed “Save the Date” cards for use by artisans

Advertising and Promotion
Our marketing campaign is extensive. Working with a PR firm that specialized in large events, our promotions cover the Mid-Atlantic region and includes but are not limited to the following:
• Radio coverage in both the DC Metro and Western Virginia/Eastern West Virginia areas
• Promotional displays in all 11 Virginia State Welcome Centers
• Social media coverage for general event and individual artisans’ promotion
• Email campaign to over 14,000 Foundation members and area residents                                              
• Ticket sales promoted through Eventbrite and Wegmans Food Stores                                                   
• TV promos on local DC metro area stations
• Newspapers, magazine and online advertising (Wash Post, TripAdvisor, Virginia Living, AAA, etc.)
• “Save the Date” cards sent to artisan as jpeg/pdf for own use
• Poster and rack card distribution to county businesses including 45+ wineries and breweries
• 75’ banner on Dulles Greenway (toll) and 10’ sign at village entrance; daily exposure 20,000+ drivers
• Collaboration with Visit Loudoun and the Virginia Tourism Corporation to further our reach

Village Stays: local families have generously welcomed artisans into their homes for over 50 years. The Foundation is pleased that this tradition continues. Accommodations with local families are limited and will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis.
• Hotels: The Foundation also negotiates special rates with area hotels. The Best Western, 726 E. Market St., Leesburg, VA 20176. Call hotel directly to book at 703-777-9400.  Room block listed as “Waterford Fair”. Holiday Inn, 45425 holiday Dr., Dulles, VA 20166. Call hotel directly to book at 703-471-7411. Room block listed as “2019 Waterford Fair”.                                                                                                       
• Camping: limited, primitive camping on the outskirts of the village is also available. Contact the office for details.
Call for Artisans                                    January 3, 2019
Application & Fee Due                          April 16, 2019
Jury Selection                                       April 17, 2019
Notification of Jury status                      May 1, 2019
Booth/Space Fees due                          50% by 5/28/19; bal. by 7/30/19; must be paid in full to reserve space
Cancellation Date                                  August 30, 2019, 5:00 PM per cancellation policy
Certificate of Insurance due                   September 3, 2019
Mandatory Set-up Day                           Thursday, October 3, 2019, 10 AM to 5 PM
Preview Party (artisans attend free)       Thursday, October 3, 2019, 6 PM to 8:30 PM
Waterford Fair                                       October 4, 5, & 6, 2019, 10 AM to 5 PM
Break-down                                           October 6, 2019, begin at 5 PM



Demonstrations: As part of our mission, we place great emphasis on education. Artisans should demonstrate in their exhibit space approximately 50% of each day.  Please plan to have sufficient help to take care of sales, breaks and other needs.
Costumes: Help us create Fair magic at this historic event! Dress in costume (18th or 19th century) or modify your street clothes so that you look like a shopkeeper or tradesperson. Our event transports fairgoers back to a simpler time when Virginia was rural and Waterford was a thriving town of trades and crafts people who supplied residents and the surrounding agricultural community. You, our demonstrating artisans, play an important role in creating the atmosphere for this event. You may choose from two (2) costuming options:
  • Option 1: Wear a period costume appropriate for your art or craft (i.e., a blacksmith might wear heavy pants, long-sleeved shirt and a leather apron and cap and a candle-maker a simple blouse, long skirt, apron, shawl, and cap). Two costume sources are: www.townsends.us and www.jpeterman.com.
  • Option 2: Select items from your own closet that when paired with a “shopkeeper’s apron” pays homage to days gone by. Appropriate items include: a white or natural-colored button-down shirt or blouse, dark trousers, canvas work pants or skirt. Think Little House on the Prairie: simple, modest, natural fabrics and neutral colors. Shopkeeper’s aprons will be available for rent to complete your “look”, if needed.
Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers or sandals are not in keeping with the historic look of the Fair and should not be worn. If you need help shopping, please contact the Fair office for assistance.
Children’s Activities:  Traditionally artisans have included children in their demonstrations and many school and homeschool groups include a trip to the Fair as a “living history” educational opportunity.  We continue with this tradition today and ask artisans to provide a simple activity related to your art or craft process. Examples of past activities are stamping leather, weaving, shaving a curl of wood off a block, working a piece of clay or taking a spin at a potter’s wheel.


Artisans are responsible for their entire display. THERE IS NO SET-UP ALLOWED DURING SHOW HOURS. Exhibition space is primarily outdoors with limited indoor space. Three space sizes are available: 100, 150 & 200 sq. feet. Indoor booth structure and displays must not exceed limits of assigned space and demonstration must take place within your space. Tables are available for rent, first come first serve, from the Foundation and must be rented in advance. For those opting for outdoor space, electricity (see special note below) is available for an additional fee and artisans must provide their own power cords. Electric is included in the indoor price.

Set up takes place the day before the Fair starts, October 3, 2019 from 10 am – 5 pm. Loading and unloading is permitted in close proximity to space locations, weather permitting. Vehicles cannot return to or remain in the exhibit area during the show.  Daily restocking from your vehicle is permitted after close of day. RV and truck & trailers cannot be parked on streets overnight. RV and camper parking options will be provided upon request. Artisans may request early set up but not all areas can accommodate this request due to staffing and area preparation. If you know that you will be arriving early, please request early set up well in advance. We will do our best to accommodate you.  Set up is to be complete by 5pm on Thursday to assure all volunteers and artisans can attend the Preview Party. No set up is allowed on Friday morning.

For all booth/spaces: 
  • No prerecorded or amplified live music of any kind is permissible in an artisan’s booth space. Out of respect for exhibiting neighbors, disruptive sounds, smells or other distractions are not allowable.
  • Signage is to be in keeping with the Fair’s esthetics. No large banners are allowed.
  • The artisan MUST be present and have their booth open for business during all hours of the 3-day event and work well with fellow artisans, Foundation staff and volunteers.
  • Artisans may not share booth space unless they have submitted a joint application and have been accepted as such; nor may they sublet or apportion space to another artisan.

Outdoors: The average space allotment is 10′ x 10′ (100 sq. ft.), but this varies since most of the show is outdoors where natural and man-made obstructions can limit or increase size. The show is held in a residential historic village. Booth spaces are located mostly on concrete or grassy, tree-laden areas; there are few spaces on perfectly flat ground. Exhibitors must abide by local fire regulations. No smoking is allowed in or near buildings or tents.

Outdoor artisans will have a small area for demonstration outside their tent (approx. 3’ x 5’). An extension from the tent is allowed over the demo area during poor weather, but separate tents are NOT allowed.
Tents: Artisans are responsible for providing their own tents and displays, which should be sufficiently sturdy to withstand weather and crowds. Tents should not be bigger than 10′ x 10, 15’ or 20′, nor should height exceed 9′ to clear overhead tree branches. Tents should be white or neutral in color.  Please contact the office if your tent falls outside of these parameters to discuss options. Tents may be secured with hand or foot driven stakes, which do not exceed 9 inches, and all legs must be weighed down. Due to high wind concerns light-weight accordion style pop-up tents are STRONGLY discouraged. The Foundation does not provide tent weights. Your submission of the Artisans Questionnaire confirms that you agree to comply with the staking and weights requirement and that the artisan assumes sole responsibility for any property damage within your booth, to your neighbors or to fair goers. 

Rental Tents: Artisans who contract with tent rental agencies must provide the rental agency specific directions to the exhibitor’s area. Additionally, the Fair office must be notified with the tent rental company’s arrival date and time. If you use the same rental company as the Fair uses, Capital Party Rental (CPR), the Fair office will provide your location and direct tent set up. Either way, upon arrival immediately examine your tent and contact the rental company directly on Thursday, if you have any issues -- do not wait until after the event. CPR’s contact is Margaret Smith. She can be reached at MSmith@capitalpartyrentals.com

Electricity: exhibit buildings are old and electricity is limited. The use of power tools is usually prohibited; if you do use them, please keep them to an absolute minimum and describe them clearly on your application. Extension cords must be provided by artisan: at least a 40-foot length of heavy-duty three-pronged cord is required.  Generators are NOT permitted; however, battery-powered lighting is acceptable.

Security: Loudoun County Virginia police provide security during the show’s hours of operation. Waterford is a residential area, so reasonable precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of you and your property. All work is exhibited at the artisan’s own risk.
Certificate of Insurance Liability: Artisan is responsible for obtaining general liability insurance, as the fair’s insurance does NOT extend coverage for exhibit damage or bodily injury. Ask your insurance agent to prepare a Certificate of Insurance (COI) listing the certificate holder as: The Waterford Foundation, PO Box 142, Waterford, VA 20197. Another source for coverage is ACT (actinsurance.com). A copy of certificate is to be submitted to the Foundation by September 3, 2019 via regular mail or as an attachment in an email sent to: fairadmin@waterfordfoundation.org.

Booth Information
Site Selection: inside space is approximately 10’ x 10’ or 100 sq. ft.; outside space begins at 10’ x 10’ (100 sq. ft.). Indoor space is available in the Old School and several other historic building around the village. There are 4 retail groupings of tents throughout the village as well. Tents which are 10 x 15 (150 sq. ft.) or 10 x 20 (200 sq. ft.) will be assessed as noted below. Tent sizes must be indicated in order for your application to be considered. Outside space will be offered if all interior spaces have been allocated.

BOOTH/SPACE PRICING: Select top three (3) chooses by number when completing application. ​
1. Old School Inside Space 100 sq. ft.  $   850
2. Old School Inside Space & Half 150 sq. ft.  $1,275
3. Old School Inside Double Space 200 sq. ft.  $1,700
4. All Other Inside Space  100 sq. ft.  $   750
5. All Other Inside Space & Half 150 sq. ft.  $1,075
6. All Other Inside Double Space 200 sq. ft.  $1,500
7. Outside Space 100 sq. ft.  $   500
8. Outside Space & Half 150 sq. ft.  $   750
9. Outside Double Space 200 sq. ft.  $1,000
Please indicate your top three (3) space preferences by number when applying. If accepted, you will be invoiced via email for your number 1 selection. Calculate your deposit base on your first preference. For your convenience payment may be made in two (2) installments – a 50% deposit due May 28th and the final balance by July 30th.

Placement is only secured when the balance is paid in full. Accounts will be adjusted after site selection and the artisan will be notified if there are any changes. Booth/space fee payments may be paid by credit card or by sending a check or money order to our office.  All booth fees must be paid by July 30, 2018 to participate in the event. 
All correspondence and inquiries should be addressed to:
Waterford Foundation
PO Box 142                                                                                       
Waterford, VA  20197