‘It’s more of a fun-raiser’: Crowds flock to annual Mattapoisett Museum holiday craft fair

Nov 18, 2023

The annual holiday craft fair at the Mattapoisett Museum raises a bit of funds for the historic museum’s operations, but the primary goal is to get community members in the door. 

“It’s more of a fun-raiser than a fundraiser,” said Jen McIntire, who serves on the museum’s board. “We always get people that have never been into the museum.”

First timers in the building not only had a chance to shop at the ten different vendors that lined its halls, but they also got to see the museum’s newest exhibit, “Then and Now,” which puts the history of Mattapoisett on display. 

The Nov. 18 fair was already packed just ten minutes after its opening — it didn’t hurt that the annual Library jewelry sale was just down the road at the same time. 

In future years, McIntire said they might open up the back portion of the museum for even more vendors and a larger crowd. 

One of the ten vendors was Old Rochester Regional High School senior and museum volunteer Mars Castro, who sold homemade crochet items, bookmarks and keychains. Castro is quite busy in school with 15 different clubs, but always makes the time for the museum, volunteering almost every Saturday. 

“It has helped me be in touch with the community and I really like that,” Castro said. “I talk to people that I have never seen before and get to know a little bit about the history of Mattapoisett.”

Castro already sold a few items just a half hour into the fair, and said “it’s even more busy” than the year before. 

“It’s a community event to help small local businesses, and I feel like buying handmade jewelry and handmade items are very meaningful for the seasons coming up, like Christmas,” Castro said. “It also helps the museum, they get more people here — it’s helping out the community overall.”

Vendor Jody Larson said the craft fair is a great opportunity to see old friends and spend time in the museum. 

“This is a good one, this one is really busy,” Larson said. “I love that they’re bringing all kinds of things into the museum.”

Visitors Polly Field and Penny Hiller echoed that sentiment: “I’ve seen so many of my old friends there,” Field said. “I thought it was awesome.”

The pair walked out with a bag full of glassware and art prints from the local vendors. 

Along with crafts and community connection, the fair brought out local musician David Sterenchock, one half of performance duo DavRos, to provide tunes for the crowd. Sterenchock also hosts the open mic nights at the Mattapoisett Museum: “I love the museum, the acoustics in here are great,” he said. 

The Mattapoisett Museum is open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.