Find Crystals, Diaphonized Critters, and More at Maine’s Odd and Unusual Show

The biannual Augusta craft fair welcomes makers of unusual wares.

ring made of preserved ladybugs set in epoxy
Photo courtesy of Muk.Kaa.Bruh
By Adrienne Perron
From our September 2023 issue

Misty Lane got used to being on the receiving end of glowering looks from passersby while running her Hillbilly Furniture and Furs stand at run-of-the-mill craft fairs. She sells animal furs, skulls, bones, and diaphonized critters — a niche that shoppers expecting pottery or needlework didn’t seem to vibe with, she says. So when Jessica Stetson, the owner of Old Soul Collective vintage shop, in Waterville, suggested last year that they start Maine’s Odd and Unusual Show, a craft fair that would only feature makers who specialize in uncommon or abnormal crafts, she jumped on board. Now, Lane, who lives in Richmond, organizes the show with her husband, Christopher Bishop. The third running of their biannual show happens on Labor Day weekend, at the Augusta Civic Center, and will host 100 vendors. “Now, instead of giving dirty looks, everyone who comes to this show is excited to see what we have,” Lane says.

Photo courtesy of Muk.Kaa.Bruh

The participating makers sell everything from crystals to Ouija boards to coffin-shaped wallets. Entertainers come too — like belly dancers and a sword swallower — and Farmington Fright Fest haunted-house designers turn a hallway in the civic center into a spooky passage. Many of the vendors, who travel from all over the country to take part, have been rejected from regular craft fairs in the past for hawking items too bizarre, Lane says. Now, she vets craftspeople who want to take part in Odd and Unusual to make sure that their specialties are weird enough. “This show lets us meet like-minded people in a comfortable setting,” Lane says. “We’re a big family — a merry band of weirdos.”

Maine’s Odd and Unusual Show takes place every Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend at the Augusta Civic Center. The next show is September 2–3. $10–$20. 76 Community Dr., Augusta.

April 2024, Down East Magazine

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