Long in the making
Dutchess Fairgrounds host 35th annual Crafts at Rhinebeck this weekend
Back when Crafts at Rhinebeck first started running in 1976, the act of catching up with those making one-of-a-kind utilitarian artworks still felt a bit radical. The whole idea was something of an offshoot of the back-to-the-land movement borne out of the Sixties, tied in with Foxfire books, communal living, Whole Earth Catalogues and the same rejection of all things overtly manufactured that also saw political action in the Bicentennial-year election of southern governor Jimmy Carter to the presidency. It was the year of Rocky, All the President’s Men and Network; the year when Elvis’ Sun Sessions was released, Boz Scaggs, “Silly Love Songs” and “Rastaman Vibration,” ABBA and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as well as the first Ramones and Patti Smith albums. Dylan did his small-town Rolling Thunder thing.
We were not a full generation away from true home crafts, and only in the first stages of the merchandising explosion of recent decades. And Rhinebeck was only just becoming the tony center that caught the nation’s attention as home to the Chelsea Clinton marriage last summer.
Thirty-five years: How will they be celebrated at Crafts at Rhinebeck this Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19? Answer: with over 200 juried craftspeople, wine-tastings, specialty foods, organic and farm produce for sale, plus enough hayrides and petting zoo activities to keep one’s kids (or grandkids) entertained. It all runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the always-fun and atmospheric Dutchess County Fairgrounds at 6500 Springbrook Avenue (Route 9) in Rhinebeck. Call (845) 876-1989 or visit www.craftsatrhinebeck.com for full information.