Plowshares Craftsfair Returns In-Person This Weekend At The NYS Fairgrounds
The annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival is back in person this weekend for its 51st year after going virtual for its milestone 50th anniversary due to the COVID pandemic. It’ll also be at a different venue…the Science and Industry Building at the State Fairgrounds. Organizing committee member Lanny Freshman says they hope to reach a new audience, in addition to the regulars who make it a tradition.
"We want people to come and have a good time. Plowshares has always been, and I don't exaggerate when I say this, people see each other and they hug each other! There's such a good feeling. Can we recreate that in this climate, and can we recreate that in another venue."
Freshman says unfortunately, there’s no kitchen available, so the typical wide variety of food will be limited to a food truck and coffee vendor outside. About 100 crafters will be selling their hand-made creations, including Barbara Floch, who’s been part of Plowshares for over 30 years.
"I do a lot of upcycling or recycling. I collage on old glass jars, and I also make things out of aluminum cans. What I'm known for the most is making jewelry."
Lanny Freshman says there are no supply chain issues with these vendors.
"A lot of the folks who are doing this, this is their living. A number of them...it is their avocation, they enjoy doing things."
Floch says it's not always about the money.
"It is, for me, interacting with people and having people come into my booth, telling me how much they like my work, even if they don't buy it."
"It is consumerism in a different way," said Freshman. "It's really not 'just get out there and get this most popular thing that will lead to you having to buy more of it.'"
In addition to vendors, there will be live entertainment, a silent auction, and a raffle. In the interest of safety, organizers are asking visitors to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours. Masks are also required for everyone ages 2 and up. Plowshares is also the primary fundraiser for the Syracuse Peace Council. Admission is $2 to $5 on a sliding scale. The festival runs Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday 10:30 to 4:30 at the Science and Industry building at the Fairgrounds. More information can be found here.