Yes, there will be a craft show in Occoquan this weekend.
That is what Betsy Fusy has been telling all the folks that have been calling her at the craft show office in the Occoquan Town Hall since Hurricane Isabel blew through the region last week.
“People from all over have been calling,” said Fusy, director of the Occoquan”s Fall Arts and Crafts Show.
Not only are the vendors, crafters and exhibitors calling, but also people who want to visit the show. Especially those who live far away and want to make sure there is a show to travel to.
“I had to change my message [on my answering machine] a couple of times,” Fusy said.
Instead of just announcing that the craft show was going to be held this weekend, Fusy said she found out that people wanted to know specifically that Hurricane Isabel had not caused enough damage within the town to cancel the show.
While some businesses in Occoquan flooded, the overall damage was not enough to delay, postpone or cancel the event.
“We are quite excited about [the craft show] and we are ready,” Fusy said.
The organizers and the town staff also are relieved that the event had not been scheduled for last weekend when most in the region were cleaning up after Isabel.
“We would have had tremendous problems,” said Win Frank, town treasurer.
The town garners about $70,000 from each of its two craft shows, which has helped to keep town taxes at 5 cents per $100 assessed value. The money is collected through fees the vendors and exhibitors pay to participate in the show.
More than 350 exhibitors and vendors will pitch tents and present their works in the streets of Occoquan on Saturday and Sunday.
The show is juried, which means a committee reviews examples of the crafters” work before allowing them to attend the show.
While there will still be a number of the traditional crafts in the show, this year there will be more variety, Fusy said.
“We are really trying to increase the amount of fine art,” Fusy said. “I hope people will see that.”
The show will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
With the usual large crowd expected, visitors are asked to park in one of the four designated lots and grab one of the shuttle buses into the town.
The shuttle buses will run from three commuter lots: Annapolis Way off of U.S. 1; the corner of Va. 123 and Old Bridge Road; and the corner of Minnieville Road and Old Bridge Road. The fourth and largest parking site will be at the Vulcan Materials property along Va. 123.
Organizers of the show are giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the event. The shuttles, which will run continuously, will begin at 8 a.m. each day.
In addition, there will be food booths and entertainment. More than 125 specialty shops and restaurants throughout the town will be open.
The arts and crafts show is free. However, there is a $2 per person charge to ride the shuttle buses. Children younger than 13 ride free.
For more information, call (703) 491-2168.