Rhinebeck hosts inaugural Country Living Fair

Cari Cucksey, host of HGTV’s Cash & Cari, will host the RePurpose booth and appear on the Main Stage on Friday, June 7 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 1 p.m.

With its sophisticated take on rustic charm, Country Living magazine inspires its readers with a sensibility both country-comfortable and stylishly upscale. Its pages offer a wealth of decorating ideas along with recipes and gardening advice, antique appraisals and clever do-it-yourself projects that, in the best country tradition of using what you have on hand, are often based on repurposing the ordinary into something fresh and appealing.

And if you’ve ever wished that you could step right into those pages and immerse yourself in that world, now’s your chance to make that happen: The Country Living Fair will come to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck Friday through Sunday, June 7 to 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It’s a rain-or-shine event, with all exhibits under cover. Country Living magazine has organized Country Living Fairs since 2006 (first in Columbus, Ohio and subsequently in Atlanta, Georgia and Austin, Texas), but this is the first one to be held in the Northeast.

More than 150 vendors will offer antiques, artisan craftsmanship and specialty foods, with popular local retailers Hi-Ho Home Market of Gardiner and High Falls Mercantile represented amongst them. Visitors will enjoy live music, including two performances by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7 and Sunday, June 9. But beyond even these enticements, what sets the Country Living Fair apart from other affairs is its array of talented experts who conduct book-signings and antiques appraisals and appear in hourly programs and demos on cooking, crafting and decorating.

Many of the presenters have national reputations. Cari Cucksey, host of HGTV’s Cash & Cari, in which viewers watch her running estate sales in Michigan and refurbishing some of her finds for resale, will host the RePurpose booth and appear on the Main Stage on Friday, June 7 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 1 p.m. Pennsylvania’s Cooper “Coop” Boone, billed as “a cowboy who cooks,” is a practicing licensed clinical psychologist as well as an award-winning singer/songwriter and a televised chef. He’ll be on the Kitchen Stage on Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8 at 1 p.m.

Sarah Gray Miller, the editor-in-chief of Country Living magazine, will be on hand to chat with readers and to host a question-and-answer session with the magazine’s former editor, Rachel Newman, on the Main Stage on Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m. Collectibles and antiques for appraisal may be brought to the Green Stage on Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9 at 1 p.m. for evaluation by Country Living’s fine and decorative arts appraiser Helaine Fendelman.

Regional presenters, many of whom will also host booths at the fair, include Agnes Devereaux of the Village Tea Room Restaurant & Bake Shop in New Paltz, who’ll do a demo on the Kitchen Stage on Friday, June 7 at 2 p.m. Seed farmer Ken Greene, co-founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, will present daily, as will Greg Draiss, who runs the garden center at the Wappingers Falls Adams Fairacre Farm and is the main contributor to its gardening blog.

Richard Kollath and Edward McCann, specialists in event and floral design, are Hudson Valley residents and Country Living contributing editors who are the designers of the Country Living Fair. They’ll do a presentation on simple do-it-yourself bouquets and table arrangements on the Main Stage on Friday, June 7 at 3 p.m.

A full schedule of presenters along with times and dates for appearances can be found at www.countryliving.com. Tickets are available at the gate for $16 for a one-day pass, $20 for a weekend pass.

Country Living Fair, Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $16-$20, Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Spring Brook Avenue (Route 9), Rhinebeck; www.stellashows.com, www.countryliving.com.

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