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Best Summer 2014 Craft Fairs In The Bay Area

Buy a frame, or fill your own (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

A Northern California summer day spent strolling outdoors at a craft fair leaves little to be desired when it comes right down to the appreciation of handmade. We've seen cool bracelets made from old zippers, handsomely finished wooden stools, a clever collection of hand-drawn greeting cards and a rainbow of painted art frames. Scout out old fashioned Raggedy Ann dolls, living wall planters and recycled metal sculptures. Talk to the artists and learn about their passions and inspiration, including locals who create their own exceptional food and drink, a hallmark handicraft of San Francisco known all over the world.

62nd Annual Sausalito Art Festival
Marinship Park
Sausalito, CA 94966
(415) 332-3555

Dates: Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2014

Labor Day Weekend falls early this year, bringing with it the popular art show beside the sparkling water of Sausalito at San Francisco Bay. General admission is $25 for a pass allowing multiple entry and exit throughout the day to one of the nation's top-rated art festivals. Meet over 270 invited artists displaying their paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry. Watch for the main stage lineup that last year included Lisa Marie Presley and Creedence Clearwater Revisited, among others.

Downtown San Mateo Summerfest
B St., between Tilton Ave. and 6th Ave.
San Mateo, CA
(800) 310-6563

Date: June 21-22, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

San Mateo's annual November event draws 25,000 to the floor of the convention center. With that three-day arts and crafts show going strong for more than 40 years, San Mateo added another event onto the calendar in 2013. Organizers are expecting up to 30,000 visitors to the 2nd annual summer event featuring arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, music, kids' activities, food and more. Presented by the Downtown San Mateo Association, rain or shine, admission is free.


Treasure Island Flea
1 Avenue of Palms
San Francisco, CA 94130
(415) 898-0245

Date: June 28-29, 2014 and the last weekend of every month, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Three years old, the flea market operates year-round on the last weekend of every month, moving indoors for winter. With food trucks, a bar, a grassy lawn for kite-flying and picnicking, plus free parking, a dog-friendly welcome and knock-out views, the TIFlea feels more like a fair than a marketplace. But when it comes to crafts, the vendors here have a large spread in spacious stalls that make it impossible to beat due to the amount of space available. A great atmosphere offers a brief escape from city streets. Admission is $3.

American Craft Council Show
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(612) 206-3100

Date: Aug. 8-10, 2014

Everything is quality handmade in this show considered the largest juried craft event west of the Rockies. The 225 artists involved have contemporary collections to show in jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor. More than 50,000 collectors and craft enthusiasts attend four annual shows staged in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul and San Francisco. The non-profit ACC was formed in 1943 to "promote education in, and appreciation of, crafts."

Eat Drink SF
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Date: Aug. 1-3, 2014

In as much as chefs and sommeliers, bakers and mixologists, winemakers and brewers create art in their craft, this foodie festival is at once a craft festival as well. The Union Square event, formerly known as SF Chefs, has a new location to show off the tastes and flavors hand crafted by the nation's finest tastemakers -- which, of course, are edible. The new venue allows for a doubling of attendance and an additional 40 chefs. Look for a new 'Made in San Francisco' artisanal theme.


Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
University Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 324-3121

Dates: Aug. 23-24, 2014 at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating its 33rd year, this arts and crafts festival is a draw for about 150,000 every summer. Features include live music and 300 artists and crafters displaying their work at booths up and down the main street. The event is also well known for the Italian Street Painting Expo of 60 talented sidewalk artists at work on larger-than-life illustrations.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she's writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on
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