For the first time in several years, Shepherd of the Hills is bringing back a craft fair weekend with an all new event.
From Sept. 11 to 13, Shepherd of the Hills will host its inaugural Shepherd’s Fall Craft Fair. The three-day event is being held at the farm and will feature artisans and crafters from all different skill sets including woodworking, quilting, painting, weaving, pottery, baking and much more.
Admission into the craft fair will be $5 per person, per day, with free admission for children ages 12 and under. Shepherd of the Hills General Manager Jeff Johnson said he’s excited to welcome both crafters and craft enthusiasts back to the farm.
“The kids can come in with their parents. The kids can go play in the play land, they can go play mini-golf, we’ll have a bounce house for the kids, we’ll have live music and other things as well,” said Johnson. “We feel like it’s a very economical thing for a family to do on a day. We’ll have chainsaw artists in there and a number of different live music performers.”
At the all-new Shepherd’s Fall Craft Fair, Johnson said they’ll feature a wide variety of crafters.
“We’ll just have a wide variety of handmade crafts and repurposed items. We’re not doing any of the scentsy or tupperware type stuff and that kind of thing. It will just be handcrafted items made in the Ozarks,” said Johnson. “Eventually we want this to rival War Eagle (Mill Craft Fair in Rogers, Arkansas) in terms of size and attendance. We feel like Branson is the place and Branson deserves a craft fair of that level and we should be able to put that on and we should be able to bringing the visitors to the people and crafts.”
Since many craft fairs and other crafting events were forced to cancel earlier this year due to the pandemic, Johnson said they hope this event will give crafters a good opportunity to still showcase their products this year.
“I’ve wanted to do crafts since day one. I told everybody that at our press conference in 2017 that I wanted to have a home for crafters and I wanted the Ozarks to be better known for it,” said Johnson. “So many of these crafters live and die by these events. They’ve worked all year. They’ll build their inventory. They start after the event. Some of them would peg an event like War Eagle and say, ‘OK, this is the one event that we’re going to make sure that we do every year. We may do one or two other events, but we’re always going to make sure we do War Eagle, because they have so many people.’
“When they got canceled this year those people, a lot of them, were left without a home and a place to sell their stuff this year.”
Johnson explained that the other half of the inspiration to bring back the craft fair was also due to his involvement on a Shoulder Season Committee with the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Everybody on there is trying to figure out how to bring business to Branson during our shoulder seasons and these times of year when it’s slow,” said Johnson. “That after summer traffic is over after Labor Day through that mid-October timespan and then again in the spring after spring break’s gone and how to do these kinds of things. We hope to be able to do more events like this at Shepherd in the future.”
Craft Fair vendor applications are currently being accepted. For the first year of the event, Shepherds is only charging a $25 marketing fee. All crafts must be hand made or repurposed. Visit shepherdscraftfair.com for additional vendor and fair information.