This year’s cancellation of the annual Common Ground Fair in Unity due to the pandemic was disappointing to New Gloucester fiber maker Hannah Welling and Yarmouth Farmers Market manager Amy Sinclair, so they decided to put on a fair of their own.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25, Welling and Sinclair will present the Harvest Moon Craft Festival at Welling’s Mindful Folk Farm in New Gloucester where she raises sheep and angora goats.

With over 30 vendors signed on, the festival at 290 Morse Road will provide an opportunity for local craftspeople who had been set to participate in Common Ground Fair to kick off their fall season, Welling said.

“This was a blow for a lot of Maine small businesses,” she said, including her own.

Welling usually sells a lot of yarn at the Common Ground Fair, which had been scheduled for Sept. 24-26. Vendors found out only three weeks before the fair that it was canceled for a second year in a row.

Emily Springer, owner of Meeting House Herb Farm in Scarborough, said Common Ground would have brought in about half of her business’ total revenue for the year.

“It really hurt us,” she said.

Springer will be participating in the Harvest Moon Craft Festival next week, selling dried herbs from her farm and others. Body serums and similar products will also be sold, she said.

As COVID cases spike, Welling said she fears the fate of future fiber fairs that are instrumental in sustaining her own and others’ businesses.

Pottery, fleece and yarn products, and jewelry will be plentiful along with food vendors, farm animals, live music and games for kids. Makers include Lacey Pottery, Real Maine Handmade and Hidden Brook Fiber.

Customers will be asked to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, and Welling and Sinclair suggest a $5 donation per group upon entry to the fair to recoup expenses.

 

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