NH FALL FESTIVAL -- Best of New Hampshire Magazine Editor's Pick
Saturday, October 8, 2016

10:00 am–5:00 pm

Strawbery Banke’s NH Fall Festival, presented each Columbus Day weekend since 2009, creates a traditional New England country fair complete with demonstrations from craftspeople, heritage breed and farm animal exhibits, farm animal and livestock demonstrations, presentations on heirloom seeds and food preservation tips, fiber arts, demonstrations and exhibits on historic crafts and industries, coopering, candle-making workshop in the Horticultural Center, garden tours and demonstrations.

Event admission is the same as regular daily admission with children under 5, members and active duty military/families admitted free.

This year, NH Fall Festival welcomes members of the League of NH Craftsmen and the NH Wheelmen with a unique, historical marine bicycle, plus dozens of traditional craftspeople and heritage livestock breeders, including:

Peter Oakley: Shoe Maker -- Professional Craft Interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village and other historic sites, Peter is known for his craftsmanship in leather work and colonial period shoes.

Linda Oakley: Needle Worker -- Linda constructs costumes and accessories representing America’s colonial period and demonstrates  needlework at historic sites and house museums throughout New England.

William Wasson: Rope Maker -- An accomplished decoy carver, blacksmith and rope maker, he is also a licensed Maine Guide. Sea captain Wasson brings 40 years of experience and research to his craft interpretations throughout the mid-west and Northeast.

Ron Raiselis: Cooper -- Strawbery Banke Museum’s on-site cooper, considered to be one of the finest craft interpreters in the country. Ron is internationally known with work in major museum and private collections throughout the United States.

Jay Mariacher: Sheep Shearer -- Jay is a three time North American Champion Alpaca Shearer who shows and judges sheep throughout the Northeast. He is very active in area 4H sheep programs.

Steve Woodman: Gun Maker -- Blacksmith, gunmaker and long-arms historian, Steve brings 30 years of knowledge and experience to his interpretations at historic sites throughout New England on 17th and 18th century gun making, maker history.

Gina Gerhard: Flax Processing and Spinning -- Gina is an expert on all phases of flax cultivation, processing and spinning fiber into linen thread. She demonstrates her craft and tools at historic sites, festivals and museums throughout New England.

Jeffrey Miller: Blacksmith -- Jeff is the owner of Flintlock Forge and is a full time professional blacksmith, gunmaker, museum and re-enactor blacksmith craft interpreter, with work is in private and public collections of colonial material culture.

Frank Rodriques: Canvas Rigger -- Steeped in the maritime history of New Bedford, Frank is an extremely versatile craftsman working with canvas and an assortment of ropes and fasteners. His work is prized by maritime and shore-side audiences.

Barbara Beeler: Oval Box Maker -- Barbara is well known to museum shops and craft shows for her decades of experience making oval boxes and interpreting the historic craft.   

Daniel LaCroix: Plane Maker and Joyner -- Daniel, a consummate wood-worker, prized by museums and re-enactors, demonstrates plane making and period joinery while explaining his tools and techniques.

Lisa Huestis: Quilter -- A lifetime quilter, Lisa is a regular participant in quilting guilds and textile craft groups and interprets the craft for historic house museums and regional craft festivals. She frequently involves her audience in the quilting process.

Nancy Cook: Weaver -- Nancy is a textile specialist and historic museum costume and furnishings educator with degrees in artisanry and education. Her well-researched and crafted window treatments, bed furniture and other textile materials are found in museums, historic sites and private collections.

Penny LaCroix: Wool Spinner -- Penny is an expert wool spinner, museum interpreter and sponsor of historical spinning forums. She uses period equipment including the great wool wheel to demonstrate the technical details of handspinning and fiber control.

Nancy Bell: Fiber Artist, Storyteller, Fiddler -- Dressed in carefully researched, hand-sewn, historically accurate clothing, she demonstrates three kinds of spinning from “the Great Wheel” to the “drop spindle” and sings propaganda songs, used during the Colonial Revolution, to entice young female rebels to learn to spin.

Colum Bell: Strolling bagpiper

Larry Smith: Tin Smith -- Tin craft interpreter at historic sites and historical encampments, Larry presents a wide variety of  tinware used in 18th and 19th century New England homes.

David Workman: Colonial Toys and Woodcrafts -- David has evolved specialized woodworking skills to make toys and crafts related to the late colonial period. Great fun for children who may be invited to out his whirling gigs and rolling toys.

Jean Ann St. Pierre: Rabbit Warden -- Owner of Cottontail Rabbitry, Jean Ann breeds rabbits and appears regularly at livestock shows and fairs. Her interpretation includes breed identification and care and feeding advice.

Charles Walker: Horner -- Skilled in the rare craft of working with horn, Charles is active with reenactment groups in making colonial items such as cups, knives, combs and cooking items.

George Calef: Bird Carver -- George is a nationally known blue ribbon award-winning bird carver with work – the curators’ choice for authenticity -- in major public and private collections. He has also received Presidential awards for community service.

David Hannon: Leather Worker -- David is the principal of Minute Man Armory, producer and collector of a significant variety of fabricated leather goods that were common to the colonial period. He is a popular craftsman serving the public and many re-enactment groups.

R.P. Hale: Harpsichordist -- R.P. Hale is a renaissance artisan – antique press printer, harpsichord-maker and player, educator and  scientist. He performs carefully researched historical music on hand-crafted harpsichord, clavichord and hammer dulcimer.

Jones Gallagher: Animal Wrangler -- “Jonsy” Gallagher is a self-sustaining farmer and wood worker, circulating the grounds to support the livestock wranglers and enclosures he built,. He raises sheep, poultry, swine, turkeys and most of his own food through his extensive organic gardening.

Tara Raiselis: Millinery Arts -- A professional museum administrator, scholar and accomplished needlewoman Tara has sewn work for historical events and exhibitions for many years and is a specialist in curatorial practices.

Louise MIller: Historic Costume Accessories -- Louise is a specialist in textile and fiber arts who has published extensively and interpreted textile crafts for museums for many years.

Judy Wasson: Basket Maker -- Judy’s baskets are sold in museum shops and at high end craft fairs. She demonstrates all processes from bark removal to varied weaving processes and is known for the variety of basket forms she produces.

Kimberly Evans-Brown: Our 4 Ever Farm -- Presenting traditional breeds of domestic geese, goats, pony, turkeys, and calves with some circulating throughout the museum grounds.

Julie Hurley: DVM- Livestock Interpreter -- Dr. Hurley is a licensed veterinarian who is a specialist in sheep husbandry. She provides commentary for the sheep shearing and wool processing program.

Dr. Drew Conroy: Oxen Teamster -- UNH professor of Applied Animal Life Sciences, Dr. Conroy, circulating with his team, is one of the foremost authorities on draft oxen in North America. He has written three books, nearly 100 hundred articles, produced 5 educational videos, been featured in the films “The Crucible” and “On the Oregon Trail,” consulted for numerous television stations assisting with documentaries on draft animals.

Dave and Colin Kennard: Shepherds and Herding Dog Demonstrators -- The Kennards have raised sheep and worked Border Collies for much of their careers. Dave is a Master Shepherd in many breeder and wool-producing organizations and maintains one of the largest flocks in NH on the family-owned Wellscroft Farm.

Peter Cook: Textile Crafts and Artisan Coordinator -- Peter is a retired museum curator and administrator. He is a specialist in pre-industrial textile technology. He and his wife, Nancy, own Tare Shirt Farm, dedicated to craft interpretation and raising early breeds of domestic livestock.

2016 vendors include:

All Things Shaker – Keith Griffith, Milford, NH

Beverly Connolly Jewelry Designs – Stratham, NH

Clayton's Way Farm Soaps – Rick & Sheryl Gunn, Weare, NH

Copper Moon Studio – Beth McKinney, Newbury, MA

FIBER-licious – Lindy Morgan, Dover, NH

Gage Hill Sugar Shack – Ted & Eileen Story, Contoocook, NH

Island Pond Spinners – Derry, NH

Jane Eslinger Metalwork & Jewelry – Bath, ME

Love Free or Die Apparel – Jennifer Turner, Newmarket, NH

Michele's Sweet Shoppe – Michele Holbrook, Epsom, NH

On The Cusp Pottery – Sara Petipas, Loudon, NH

Pamomile – Pam Cornwell, Greenfield, NH

Paul's Birch Works – Paul Kruzel, Canterbury, NH

Purple Hummingbird Woolens – Johanna Hanft, Keene, NH

RedMaple Sportswear – Eliot, ME

Sea Hill Farm Alpacas – Paula Ickeringill & Wendy Turner, Kittery Point, ME

Wicker'd Good Baskets – Fred Lawson, Billerica, MA & Karen Ziino, Waltham, MA

For a short video of the NH Fall Festival, click here.