Thousands expected to turn out for Guilford Expo July 15-17

GUILFORD — With temperatures anticipated to be in the high 80s, into the 90s this coming weekend, chocolatier Edward Heller of Chocolate Moonshine DC is planning to bring fudge to Craft Expo 2022.

“Because of the weather the only thing I’ll be bringing with me is our fudge.” Heller said. “The fudge melts at 135 degrees, so I’m not worried about the fudge melting.”

After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Heller will join more than 170 artists from across the country displaying and selling their fine crafts including clay, food, glass, leather, jewelry, wearable and fiber for the home, metal, mixed media, paper, painting, photography, printmaking, soap and wood — in addition to fudge, of course.

Heller is prepared to introduce Expo attendees to 20 different fudge flavors, including pure Belgium fudge, peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, Heath bar crunch, s’mores, chocolate cheesecake and strawberry cheesecake and light tan colored penuche fudge.

“Fudge is American, the Pilgrims invented it in Massachusetts and the flavor they invented was penuche because sugar was so expensive so they were using molasses and brown sugar and that was the beginning of fudge,” the chocolatier said.

“We’re a very pure fudge,” he said. “Everything we do is handmade. What makes our fudge so special is that we do not use any additives.”

“There’s no wheat products, there’s no egg products in our fudge,” he said. “Most of our flavors are gluten-free because there’s no wheat and there’s no egg.”

The weekend event is expected to draw some 6,000 people to the center of town. It’s the Guilford Art Center’s major fundraiser, providing money to support all of its educational and community programming.

“We’re really excited to bring this event back because the community has really, really missed it, the artists have missed it and we’ve missed being able to present it to the community,” said Maureen Belden, executive director of the Guilford Art Center. “We’re really excited to be doing it again.”

“We want to bring it back exactly the way that it always has been, so there’s nothing hugely new,” Belden said. “There are new artists, of course. There’s old favorites and new artists, but many things remain.”

This includes a family art tent for young visitors, silent auction of exhibitor-donated work, live music, live craft demonstrations by Guilford Art Center faculty and students, and sale of Guilford Art Center student work.

Jennifer Hoertz Millinery will also be exhibiting this weekend.

Her headwear includes hairbands, berets, straw hats, fascinators, cloches, fedoras, pillbox hats, blushers, veils and bridal headpieces.

“Hand-blocked shapes of organic wool and straw, modest vintage and modern trims, stitching and grosgrain are the details of Jennifer Hoertz Millinery,” according to

“I’ve been doing this for 29 years and for 20 something years people have been saying, ‘Hats are coming back,” Hoertz said, talking by phone from her Brewster, N.Y., studio.

“But I have to say, in the last five years it’s really taken a turn and there’s more interest in hats, there’s more people wearing hats, there’s more people learning how to make hats,” she said.

Hoertz talked about the beauty of a chapeau.

“The benefit of wearing a hat is not just to elevate your look and complete your outfit and make you look fabulous, you’re getting protection from the sun or to keep you warm,” she said. “Sun protection is a huge thing, especially in the summer.”

There are distinct merits to working with a milliner, said Hoertz.

“They’re going to make it to your head size, she said. “It doesn’t cost any additional, for a custom head size, unless it was a special occasion hat or you wanted extra trim, then there’s might be a custom fee.”

“If it’s custom done to your head size, it’s wearable,” she said. “It’s not going to blow off your head, it’s not going to give you headache.”

A hat adds panache to an outfit, Hoertz said. “The minute you put the hat on your head it sort of elevates your entire look,” she said. “It’s kind of as if it finishes. It’s the icing on the cake.

“The hat has the ability to transform the wearer, her personality, her feeling about herself,” she said. “I don’t know how many times people will mention to me that they don’t feel confident enough to wear a hat.”

“My answer to them is the minute you’re wearing that hat,” she said, “people look at you as if you do have all the confidence in the world.”

Guilford Art Center Craft Expo 2022, on the Guilford Green, takes place 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 15; 10 a.m. – 7p.m., Saturday, July 16; and 12 -5 p.m., Sunday, July 17.

Admission is adults $9, seniors $8, GAC members, children under 16 and active military, free, with multi-day pass $15.

For more information, visit; Facebook guilfordartcenter; email [email protected]; 203-453-5947.