By Jennifer Lazzo
Occoquan will be filled with vendors, shoppers and entertainers taking part in the spring Occoquan Arts and Crafts show on June 2 and 3. For 49 years, booths displaying handmade items, artwork and home decor have lined the historic town’s normally quiet streets, enticing visitors young and old alike.
“While the size of the show has gotten larger over the years, our adherence to excellence has remained the same,” said Julie Little, the events and community development director for the Town of Occoquan. She noted that almost 300 vendors will be there from states such as Minnesota, New York and Florida with about 10,000 visitors during the two-day event.
In addition to the arts and crafts booths, there will be a dunk tank to try scuba, a photo booth, touch-a-truck, face painting and free events for children held at the Mill House Museum. Musical acts include acoustic guitarist Matthew Mills, the Southern blues rock band Drive In Riot and Bob Culbertson, who plays a Chapman Stick.
Grabbing a bite to eat while strolling around or listening to live music will be easy. Local food trucks Balsamo’s Pizzeria, Stay Cheesy, Lunch Box on Wheels and Zuzu Cuisine and perennial food booths such as Kara’s Grill, Southern Style Tea, Wild Bill’s Soda and Sherri’s Crab Cakes will be on hand to provide a variety of choices.
The Occoquan Arts and Craft Show, held in both the spring and fall, have earned the Best Community Event award of 2016 and 2017 from Inside NoVa Best of Prince William, a source of pride for Little. “I have gotten to know many local business owners personally and find that everyone is pretty invested in our special town,” she said. “The Town staff, businesses, residents, and volunteers really team together to create a successful show each season.”
Little said that 50-75 volunteers help with each show. “We need flexible and friendly volunteers to assist vendors during the show as well as a number of folks to help at each of the shuttle stops and information booth.”
The show will be open from 10:00 a. m. to 6:00 p. m. on Saturday and 10:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. on Sunday, rain or shine. Admission is free. While the streets in Occoquan are closed to traffic and parking is limited to handicapped spaces, there are four parking lots with frequent shuttles to the arts and crafts show. The cost is $5 per person roundtrip; children 12 and under are free.
Jennifer Lazzo ([email protected]) is a Contributing Writer for Prince William Living.