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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading Holiday Craft Fair Happens December 7

If you read my column regularly, you know I love to bake. I am sure in the three-and-a-half-years I've been writing this, I 've mentioned it once or twice. I may have also noted that I'm not good at baking pies. The crust never works out right for me.

I wanted to help out with this year's PTO Pie Sale, though, so I made a pumpkin pie with a store-bought crust. Even with the help of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, I wasn't impressed with my creation. Whoever coined the phrase "easy as pie" never met me.

I brought my sad concoction to Town Hall last Saturday, and I was amazed at the number of pies that were already there, and the number that arrived in the first few minutes of the sale. There were probably over 100 pies!

I had initially intended to drop my pie off and head home, but with the excitement, which grew with every pie purchase, I decided to stick around for some time. More people showed up, hung around, and got into the effort, making it harder and harder for me to leave.

And you know what’s amazing? Every single pie sold. You want to know what’s even more amazing? My pie sold!

Chef's hats off to Barbara Lord, Wade Mullins, and Janet Malcolm for organizing this and for such a successful event. Thanks also to Erika Marletta, who put her heart and soul into getting people to stop as they drove by. She definitely brought the fun to the event! And special thanks to everyone who contributed pies. This would not have been a success without you!

The pie sale was part one of the PTO's two-part eventapalooza last Saturday. Part two, the Chili Cook-Off, was also a rousing success. Each of the seven entries was different from the others, and all were delicious. There could be only one winner, though, and that was Matt Levasseur.

Thanks to all who attended one or both events. You helped them be great fundraisers for the PTO and fantastic community events!

This weekend in town is sort of a "bye week," like in football, for team Reading. There's not a lot of community events happening, but that's fine. Next weekend is an entirely different story. Next Saturday is Reading's big day!

The festivities kick off at 9am with the Fourth Annual Reading Holiday Craft Fair at Town Hall. We have quite a few return vendors, including Creative Woodworking and Cabinfish Fiber Art. They’ve done every one of our past shows! Abby Rowlee logs year number three with her crowd-pleasing Vermont photography gifts. Three crafters are back for their second time, and they're all Reading residents. Linda Hitchcock, the Stitch Witch, will have her finely crafted aprons, table runners, placemats, and quilts. Cara Goodenough will have herbal tea, honey, and skincare products. Finally, Sandy Peplau will be back demonstrating the craft of making hand-braided rugs. She is also selling beautiful handbags.

We’ll also have two Annes—Anne Yates with Wool on Wheels, who will be selling yarn and other woolen products, and Anne Partlow with bibs, burp cloths, crayon wallets, and reusable snack bags. There will also be an Annie, Annie Lauterbach, with beautiful, earthy, nature-inspired pottery.

We have another potter as well. Her name is Dawn Dahlstrom, and her pottery is exquisite. Like Annie, she is inspired by nature, but the results are so different! Come see what I mean. All the above mentioned—Anne, Anne, Annie, and Dawn—are brand new exhibitors at the fair.

Katherine Gionet-Kloszewski is joining us for the first time. She has primitive paintings on slate, barn wood, and wooden boxes.

Nancy Hawden returns with her handmade greeting cards. It’s always nice to get a card in the mail. It would be even nicer to get one of these. Fran Lamb is back for her second time with her solar glass garden flowers and maple syrup.

Two newcomers this year are Jennifer Maxham with her beautiful jewelry and walking sticks, and Liza Welch with goat’s milk soap and other skincare products, raw honey, and Christmas decorations.

And of course, we’ll have Reading’s Awesome Artists. They’ve got fantastic homemade crafts, including signs, holiday-themed items, decorative hooks suitable for mudrooms and entryways, picture frames, and other folksy art.

Whew! That took me seven paragraphs for just the first event!

Happening at the same time—10am to 1pm, to be precise—is the second annual Holiday Wreath Sale. This event occurs at the Reading Public Library and is sponsored by the Reading Green Spaces Committee. You can buy a beautiful wreath, either decorated or undecorated, for your home. The proceeds will help the committee as they continue their efforts to beautify Puddledock Park. If you've seen it lately, you've probably noticed that the park has been leveled out, and the slab at the back has been covered. That's about all that can be done right now, but the committee is looking forward to fertilizing and seeding it next spring.

Though it is a work in progress, the park will be home for the third event happening on Reading’s big day, and that is the Third Annual Tree Lighting. The tree has been picked, and it will be put up and ready for a lovely night of caroling, delicious cookies and hot drinks, a visit from Santa, and the town’s kickoff of the holiday season. This festivity happens on December 7 at 6:30pm at Puddledock Park.

Will the events of the first Saturday of December be as fun, community-oriented, and memorable as those that happened last Saturday? There's only one way to know—come be a part of them!

Happy Thanksgiving!

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

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