ROCKPORT — One of the oldest and largest church fairs on the North Shore, a true Rockport tradition, opens Saturday, July 13.
The Old Sloop Fair at the handicap-accessible First Congregational Church of Rockport, 12 School St., begins this Saturday with the Rummage Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale offers gently-used clothing for women, men and children, linens, luggage, handbags and much more.
The fair will continue Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with many traditional events: white elephant tables, an art mart, jewelry, hand-knits, a snack bar and more. A boutique will feature antique, vintage and selected special items, and a yard sale will offer tools, lamps, rugs, garden supplies, and more.
The Old Sloop Fair originated in 1957 under the guidance of Pastor Ed Nutting, and is an important fund-raising activity for the church.
The First Congregational Church was organized in 1755. The sanctuary building was constructed in 1804 as the Sandy Bay meetinghouse. The tall steeple and white façade close to the shoreline resembled a ship’s sail when seen from the sea, inspiring the local fishermen to call it “The Old Sloop.”
A major project to restore the steeple is nearing completion, and artifacts from the project will be on display in the church narthex and sanctuary.