BRISTOL -- Area residents joined the Bristol Historical Society for a Saturday of Christmas crafts and local goods bargain shopping at 98 Summer St. as part of the nonprofit’s annual Christmas Craft Fair.
“This our 15th annual fair,” said event chair and Society Second Vice-President Mary Houle. “We’ve a committee of strong workers who help us out and we incorporate a Christmas boutique, which are gently used Christmas items, and we have a bake sale. Then we have around 20 vendors who have all kinds of things.”
The event serves as a fundraiser for the society’s general operating expenses, community outreach and the upkeep of the society, said Society President Maya Bringe. Society officers said the event lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is held the first Saturday of December, although last year’s was postponed due to the pandemic.
“I think it’s important for a few reasons and one is that we didn’t get to have it last year and we scaled back on events pretty aggressively, as did everyone,” said Bringe. “It’s important to have as both a fundraiser and a tradition. It’s important for us to be open to the public to give them a chance to come in here and see us and see the historical society and we’re always happy to see people who might be here on a regular basis come through those doors.”
Houle said it was nice to connect with the community and to be a planned stop for those who make the craft fair “circuit” every year.
Area crafter Joyce Thibodeau said she was spending her first year at the event and shared her goat milk soap, ornaments and gifts.
“I really love it here because the people are so great, friendly and nice and I get to see friends I haven’t seen in over two years,” she said. “It’s fabulous.”
Shopper Patricia Muccino said she often comes to the event with her family as something of a holiday tradition.
“We all come and we just look around to see what we can see and there’s normally a pretty good raffle,” she said. “I usually come with my daughter and my granddaughter and my other daughter.”
Among the products offered, Laura Harrison sold memorial ornaments and decorated cigar boxes.
“I love this fair and the people are so nice here,” she said. “This is my third time coming here. There was a good turnout this morning. It was really busy.”
Shopper Jodie Lewis said it was nice to be out and about for a holiday season again after many functions were shut down last year.
“I’m not looking for anything specific just to be a little inspired and see something different,” said Lewis. “I’m not a crafty person so I admire those who are.”