|Super Weekend for Holiday Fairs, Bazaars, Open Houses and Concerts!
By Jon Alden
Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd
If professional football has it Super Sunday, then the coastal villages of Westport, Little Compton, and Tiverton had their “Super Weekend” as the area hosted so many holiday events that even the most active of the season’s shoppers struggled to keep up.
Many local churches held their annual fairs and bazaars, and every single one of them was well attended by members and their guests. There were holiday crafts and Christmas items galore, baked goods, raffles, knitted items, donated items, decorated Christmas trees and wreathes, and not a single grinch could be spotted in the Coastal Villages! And as if that weren’t enough, there were puppies for sale at the Westport Point United Congregational Church. Sugar and spice and everything . . . . puppy dogs tails? That seemed to be the case when Gabrielle Lynsky (left) of Westport ran into a litter of adorable puppies for sale at the church's Holly Fair on Saturday. Laurie Gifford (right) proved that big girls like puppies too! Yvette Newcomb (center) was selling the beagle, half German Shepard puppies for her uncle. Ernestine Morin is looking at the scene before her with amusement, wondering what Gabrielle mother, Inez Boutin, will think of the irresistible, cuddly bundle of fur. The Holly Fair is an annual fundraiser for the church, with Christmas crafts, gifts and raffles highlighted by a lobster roll and chowder lunch.
There were tree lightings and sightings of Santa Claus from Little Compton to Tiverton. Carolers led by Phoebe Simmons added merriment to the tree lighting at Pike’s Peak in Little Compton. And tree lighting devotees at Tiverton Town Hall discovered there really is a Santa Claus, although most knew that already because they saw Santa and his wife at the Toy Mill at Tiverton 4 Corners earlier in the day dispensing candy canes and cheer (lower left).
The Little Compton Village Improvement Society took advantage of the nearby, supremely well-attended Ben Wilkie Memorial Tree Spree to hold their Christmas Fair and Open House at the Brownell House. There were letters to Santa, toys, dress-up costumes, bake sale goodies, crafters, a Christmas sale and in the holiday spirit a free coffee and a treat. For five bucks a hungry shopper could get a box lunch of hot dogs, chips, fruit, and a brownie and drink.
And speaking of the 14th annual Ben Wilkie Memorial Tree Spree, the Wilbur & McMahon School gym was jamming. Hundreds of people were buying books of raffle tickets, filling them out, and stuffing raffle bags with visions of winning one of the many richly decorated, themed Christmas trees. You couldn’t find a place to park within a quarter mile of the Commons.
The knitting, quilting and watercolor senior volunteers (left) at the Senior Center in North Tiverton weren’t letting any moss grow under their feet as the produced by hand hundreds and hundreds of holiday items for their annual December fair. This cheerful group of women was full of energy, and delighted to provide this important service to their community. All items not sold at the fair will be donated to worthy charities. Janice Gomes, the Director, is doing a great job of running a very popular senior center.
Shoppers took a lunch break at the Westport United Congregation Church's annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday. (Below left) From the left; Viola Webb, her husband Tyler, Thelma Sullivan, Thelma Feenan, and Francis White are being served a hearty lunch of beef stew by a church volunteer. With over 10 bazaars, fairs and open houses going on over the weekend they needed the energy! The church held its annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, and featured a raffle and food table, and a giant raffle with a chance to win a three-day, two night stay at a New Hampshire chalet! Several featured artisans were there with their wares.
Meanwhile, back at Tiverton 4 Corners, shoppers spent the weekend in the country celebrating holiday cheer, gift drawings, events, and sales and refreshments at the area’s Holiday Open House.. Many of the local businesses held raffles, and local artisans held demonstrations of what they do best. Kids made birdfeeders at the Arts Center in back of the Soule-Seabury House, and you could spot a wandering bagpipe player if you were very observant! The Amicable Church’s Toy Drive brightened the holidays for less fortunate kids, and many items were dropped off at the Arts Center. The Amy C. Lund Handweaver Studio and Gallery (lower left) featured Marianne Stebennes (right), pottery artist, with Amy C. Lund, making yummy apple-bakes in her featured, handmade apple-bake ceramic dishes, which were for sale.
The Amicable Church held their Church Fundraiser Fair and Supper on Saturday, featuring a Holiday Fair. They held a giant gift baskets raffle, a kids’ corner, and a “nearly new” gift table. It’s amazing how many people turn out for these church fairs! A luncheon and, later, a roast beef dinner kept the volunteers and shoppers going throughout the day.
And how about the Holiday Open House at Peckhams? As if we need an excuse to go to Peckhams in the winter!
The University of Dartmouth’s fraternities and sororities joined the fray with a Holiday party on Saturday as they hosted their 37th senior Citizens Holiday Party for the surrounding communities. There was a dinner followed by music and dancing. Senior attendees brought a new children’s book with them to be donated to local children to increase literacy within the greater New Bedford area. Residents of Westport were invited to attend this year’s party during the second service. Go Cosairs!
Wrapping up the schedule of holiday events was the Westport Art Group’s annual fair (left) on Main Road that featured Nantucket baskets, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, and a treasure table. There were Christmas gifts, cards and stationary. The famous bake sale? That was there too! The popular “wall” raffle of 36 selected affordable art was organized by Janet Jones (left) shown here with Nancy Burkholder, President of the WAG. If you wanted a small piece of quality Westport art, your raffle ticket should have been in the bag!