A Christmas quartet: Four fairs in Wareham

Dec 3, 2023

People lined up the morning of Saturday, Dec. 2 outside two churches, a church hall and a library, waiting for the day's Christmas fairs to begin. 

The Friends of the Wareham Free Library, the Wareham Garden Club, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Wesley United Methodist Church all held their holiday fairs on Saturday, creating a communal atmosphere as people went from one to another in search of hand-baked treats and hand-made treasures. 

"There's four holiday fairs here within a mile," said Priscilla Porter, President of the Friends of the Wareham Free Library. "All of us do well. People take the day and go from place to place to place.”

The Friends of the Wareham Free Library held its holiday fair along with one of its regular book sales. 

Because the Friends had missed several months of book sales due to the library closing for repairs, it held a stand-alone book sale the day before the holiday fair and had books available during the fair. 

Besides books, the fair had gifts for sale and home-made baked goods. 

Residents of the town were very generous in making donations to the Friends as they passed through the event, said one member. 

"People love the library and love supporting it," said Porter. 

The Wareham Garden Club's fair swapped books for boughs, featuring abundant displays of fresh holiday greens. 

The club takes care of the civic gardens in town, including those by the lighthouse gates and the police station. 

Members of the club got together for regular workshops leading up to the event to learn floral techniques and make the displays that were sold. 

Kathleen Beaulieu, one of the visitors to the fair, said the club members did "amazing work” that would “rival any florist.”

Judy Morgan, president of the Club, said people began lining up outside the fair as early as eight in the morning. 

The Church of the Good Shepherd also had people lining up outside the doors of their holiday fair. 

"It's one of the best fairs in town," said Karen Clark, president of the Good Shepherd guild. 

The guild works before the event to make crafts for the fair, Clark said. Everything sold at the fair was either home-made or donated. 

"People always seem to appreciate …  the opportunity to find something they'll find nowhere else," said the church's Pastor Dan Bernier. 

While the bulk of the fair was open to all, it did have a separate room for children twelve and under. Kids could pick out gifts for their family all by themselves, leaving their selection a surprise for Christmas morning. 

"We always look forward to spreading what Good Shepherd means to us, which is kindness and love," said Clark. "People come in happy and leave happy."

People left fed from the fourth fair of the day, held by the Wesley United Methodist Church

In addition to Christmas trees, gifts and raffles, the fair featured a mid-day meal. 

Pastor Ginny Doran said she made the lunch's kale soup, and that fair volunteer Denise Fisher's clam chowder was a popular choice. 

It seems to work well, as people sit around the table and have conversations,” said Doran. "It's community."

Some people went between the different fairs on the day, while others focused on just one. 

One resident, Nancy DiRocco, said she regularly attended the Wareham Free Library’s book sales. While she might check out the other fairs, she was "definitely" going to the Christmas parade later in the day, she said. 

Another resident, speaking at the Wareham Garden Club's event, planned to attend multiple fairs. 

"I just love to see all the ideas," she said. "I love to get original gifts for people."