The holiday craft season really kicks off this Saturday, when many churches and organizations host holiday fairs.
After a hard day shopping, enjoy a luncheon being served at several fairs or take a break before heading to the Essex firefighters' 29th Annual Spaghetti Dinner being served Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Memorial Fire Station, 24 Martin St. in Essex. All are welcome. Donations for the meal of homemade meatballs and spaghetti will be taken at door and gratefully appreciated.
Here's a listing of holiday fairs of which the Times is aware:
Saturday, Nov. 23
GLOUCESTER: Trinity Congregational Holiday Fair, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 70 Middle St. The fair features, knitted goods, crafts, home-baked pies, jams, anadama and pumpkin bread, cookies, table arrangements, wreaths, jewelry, and special Christmas items. There will be silent auction of special items and a hearty luncheon served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Cape Ann Thrift Shop will be open, loaded with sale items, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
GLOUCESTER: St. John’s Village Fair, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. John’s Church, Middle Street. Handmade crafts, bake shop, raffles, silent auction. Handicapped accessible; park at 33 Washington St. Free.
ESSEX: Holiday fairs at First Universalist and First Congregational churches from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and St. John the Baptist from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. All are within walking distance on Main Street. Free street parking, more in municipal lot behind Memorial Fire Station on Martin Street. Gift bargains, homemade food, hot beverages and dollar-stretching gifts. St. John the Baptist 's fair features baked goods, Essex resident Sally O'Maley's beautiful wreaths and greens, Christmas decorations and more. First Universalist will have a cookie walk while First Congregational will have plants, a luncheon and silent auction.
GLOUCESTER: Friends of Seacoast Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 292 Washington St. Bake sale, cookie walk, raffle, white elephant, vendors. Snow or shine.
GLOUCESTER: Harvest Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St. Local food, handmade crafts, annual raffle of ;ocal items, gift cards, and experiences. This market accepts EBT SNAP, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market coupons.
ESSEX: 29th Annual Spaghetti Dinner, 4 to 7 p.m., Memorial Fire Station, 24 Martin St. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs with a salad, beverage and dessert. All welcome, pay as you can. Donations taken at door and gratefully appreciated.
Saturday, Nov. 30
ROCKPORT: Christmas in the Cove Fair, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cove Circle Center, Breakwater Avenue. For table rentals, call Gail at 617-967-5446.
Friday, Dec. 6
ROCKPORT: Advent Fair, 4 to 8 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 24 Broadway. Gifts, handcrafted items, jewelry and African jewelry, baked goods and holiday greens will be available, as well as a soup luncheon.
Saturday, Dec. 7
GLOUCESTER: Annisquam Sewing Circle Christmas Fair, 8 a.m. to noon, Annisquam Village Hall, 32 Leonard St., Gloucester. The craft table features first–quality handmade knitwear, artwork, kitchen linens, toys, and much more. A one-of-a-kind hat knit by local legend Grace Murray —an annual tradition—will be auctioned to the highest bidder. The fair is famous for the splendid wreaths, centerpieces, boxwood trees, and other greenery items that Sewing Circle members prepare and decorate for the event. Shop the gourmet table for goodies for everyone—pies, cookies, jellies, sauces, gluten-free items — all beautifully packaged to present as an elegant gift or to take home to devour yourself. Pick up a few “grab bag” items for surprise stocking stuffers. Shop for treats for Fido and Mittens, too, and don’t miss the vintage jewelry table. All proceeds support Cape Ann organizations.
ROCKPORT: Holiday Book & Author Fair, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant, 25 Main St., Rockport. Meet some talented local authors and buy their books for holiday gift-giving. Tree lighting and Christmas carols follow in Dock Square. Refreshments.
ROCKPORT: Advent Fair, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 24 Broadway. Gifts, handcrafted items, jewelry and African jewelry, baked goods and holiday greens will be available, as well as a soup luncheon.