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For Holiday Shoppers, Craft Fairs Will Offer Alternative to Chain Stores, Mall

Two are scheduled for Saturday.

Organizers of two separate events that will offer tons of handmade, unique items in Brewster and Southeast this weekend are not operating in competition. Instead, they're encouraging folks to support local business and swing by both.

St Andrew's Episcopal Church's annual Craft Fair and Harvest Bazaar is set to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 16) on Prospect Street in Brewster. About 10 minutes away, on Route 6 in Southeast, Trinity Lutheran Church's Christmas Fair will be happening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"...Someone can easily spend a couple of hours with us and then a few hours with them," said Valerie DeBenedette, senior warden at St. Andrew's. "So we will have posters telling people about the Trinity Christmas Fair and they will have posters about our Harvest Bazaar."

This year, the bazaar is slated to feature at least 15 vendors, whose items typically range from $1 to about $25.

"Most are small business people in this area that make or sell crafts, foods, cosmetics, or jewelry," DeBenedette said, adding that some of her favorite items are from a vendor who makes notebooks and other crafts from old game boards.

Funds raised at the bazaar go to the roof and building fund at St. Andrew's. The 109-year-old church is often in need of maintenance, which, as of late, means new roof tiling because of Hurricane Sandy. 

Over at Trinity, the fair will serve a number of purposes—including benefitting the church, local ministries, international ministries and non-profits.

"It certainly helps get people in the spirit of things," Amy Finney, an organizer, said. "It is also a community outreach that helps people get to know the church."

Finney is hoping the event will draw hundreds. Folks who attend will be met with a host of foods and hand-crafted items—produced mainly by Women of the Evangelical Church in America and members or friends of Trinity Lutheran; or donated by local businesses. Prices will range from about 50 cents to $75.

"Last year a church member brought her two young daughters to the fair," Finney said via email. "One fell in love with a needlepoint dollhouse that had been handmade and donated by a church friend for the silent auction. The mom decided to bid on it and she won! What a huge surprise for her daughter on Christmas morning, and she was thrilled to find out who made it and thank her directly."

Some of the vendors have sold at previous events. Lorin Layton of Carmel is one of them, and she'll be at the bazaar Saturday ready to sell bracelets, scarves and more. She's met "so many nice people" there over the years.

"You could spend a few hours there," she said, adding that last year's bazaar feature two rooms full of vendors. "...It's local, and you don't have to fight crowds."

Ashley Tarr November 19, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Just checked in with Valerie DeBenedette, who said there were twice as many folks at this year's event as last year. So, who went? What did you buy?

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