Garrison Day is an annual event in Beaver County that features crafts, artisans, history, and more. Set in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania, the festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors each year to the town of Beaver and the surrounding areas. You can always check out the details for this and many other great Appalachian events on our events calendar.
Garrison Day: History and Artisans of Appalachia
The event has been a local and regional favorite for nearly 40 years, and it has become a highly anticipated event each summer. Many fans are even clamoring for Garrison Day to be extended to several days rather than just the one Saturday, allowing more vendors to participate. The event attracts history buffs, craft-lovers, and anyone who just likes to enjoy a bit of down-home fun.
Garrison Day’s historic origins are rooted in the 18th-century military garrison stationed at Fort McIntosh. The historic site (which you can still visit) was built during the American Revolution on a plateau which would later become the town of Beaver. Over the years, the site has served as the headquarters of the most massive army to serve west of the Alleghenies and has the distinction of being the first fort built by the growing American army north of the Ohio River.
Fort McIntosh was also the site of a treaty signing between the newly-established United States of America and the Chippewa nations. Fort McIntosh was restored in the 1970s, thanks to the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation, the same organization that heads up Garrison Day each year.
Food, Fun, and Fantastic Crafts at Garrison Day
The artisans, after all, are the main draw of the festival. You’ll find a vast array of artists and vendors, primarily selling arts, crafts, and antiques. There are over 300 different booths to choose from! Visitors will find traditional art, as well as unique pieces such as crayon art, wood burnings, cigar box guitars and even vinyl record purses.
Many of the vendors have been attending Garrison Day for years, even decades, to hawk their wares and mingle with the crowds who flock to Beaver from all over.
Beyond just the handcrafts and impressive artwork, expect food vendors serving up the best of the area’s regional favorites (like Amish ice cream and apple dumplings — yum!) and live performances from local talent, including the Fort McIntosh Fife and Drum Corps.
Out and About in Beaver
Another enjoyable aspect of Garrison Day is the proximity of the event to so many of downtown Beaver’s fantastic local businesses. From the cute cafes to furniture shops, don’t forget to save a little of your shopping energy to peruse the brick-and-mortar businesses which help give Beaver its small-town, Appalachia flavor. Plus, stick around for a weekend-long visit to Beaver County and enjoy everything this Pennsylvania destination has to offer, including historical and heritage points, such as the Air Heritage Museum, Old Economy Village, and several well-preserved one-room schoolhouses.
Parking and Admittance for Garrison Day Garrison Day takes place across the green space of downtown Beaver, June 9, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. The cost is free, and parking is available in the area. If you’re flying into the region rather than driving, you can quickly fly into Pittsburgh International Airport, and lovely Beaver is just a 20-minute drive away, making it a quick and convenient side-trip.
Submitted by Holly Riddle