Feeling funny about the name? Don’t. This smorgasbord of arts & crafts rocks in every single way, and if you are crafty (although you may or may not consider yourself a bastard), then this is the place for you. Based in Union Market, this annual event has become an autumn favorite. Crafty Bastards just celebrated their 10-year anniversary, as vendors from all over the United States participated. What makes this festival so amazing? It is the fact that they support authenticity, local vendors and truly focus on the work of the artist without the hoopla.
Ticket prices are cheap, a mere $5. It begins early, so you have enough time to truly explore without feeling rushed. This year was the first time the event spanned into a two-day timeframe. When you enter, there are booths upon booths with independent artists showcasing their vision. You feel somewhat intrusive while peering into their life work, whether large or small; intricate or offensive; LA to NYC. The beauty of this festival is that it isn’t pretentious. The artists are eager to speak to you (some more than others), and of course, allow you to take pictures only if their card is present (understandable.)
After walking around for a few hours, only your stomach’s growl betrays your hunger. Not to worry; you have a choice of excellent food trucks that have made a name for themselves around the DC circuit, as well as great specialty shops from inside Union Market. It was a beautiful day when I chose to attend, so the thought of eating inside didn’t sit well. However, with the option of picking up something to go and sitting outside in some of the provided outdoor seating, I couldn’t resist.
Remember to bring cash, yet many vendors take credit cards. Also, have a plan on how to peruse through the numerous tables so you don’t miss one. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a friend to keep you from spending your entire paycheck (it is definitely possible), and finally, make connections with those who are presenting a piece of themselves that you can cherish and have for years to come.
Photo courtesy of mypapercrane.com