I have worked the fair for many years. If you have come to the fair, you have most likely seen or heard me. I’m outside in the courtyard in the Autumn Harvest booth selling mums (the biggest you have ever seen), pumpkins and assorted other items. I’m usually outside all day. Some years it rains, and that is not very fun. One year it was bitter cold. But most years, the weather is like it is predicted to be this weekend – cool and crisp….the perfect fall day!
What I see
By 8am, the church is a-buzz. Antique and bargain hunters are lined up for the opening of the barn that happens at 8am. Customers are walking through the crunchy leaves with their arms loaded with treasures. By 9am, customers are lined up in the courtyard with coffee in hand waiting to see what they can find in our different booths. Since I stand in the courtyard facing the parking lot I get to see what customers are taking home. I see a family: Dad carrying an antique chair that they found in the barn, Mom carrying a pie she bought at the Bake Shop, a teenager carrying two bags full of books, a boy with a balloon animal on his head, a toddler holding a baby doll discovered in the toy section. I see an elderly couple: the man with two large mums both selected very carefully with a woman who is holding a beautiful quilt. I see two best friends – women with arms around each other giggling, laughing, and holding way too many bags and loving every minute of it. I see kids run by screaming with excitement for completely unknown reasons.
What I taste
There is a lot to taste at the fair. Oh how I wish I didn’t have this much to say about this topic. But darn it, it’s true! I visit the Bake Shop early to get a pie, cake or fabulous cookies. Why wouldn’t you want to have a little snack while you’re shopping? For lunch, I’ve tried the grill that offers the regular fare of burgers and dogs. But we also have something we call the White Steeple Inn that is open for business one day a year. On fair day, our library becomes an adorable little country inn where customers can enjoy a sit-down lunch complete with chicken salad croissant and freshly baked apple pie. Oh, it is so good! And I never forget to grab a hunk of Vermont Cheddar and fresh fudge. I have to say, I have tasted it all and it’s all wonderful.
What I hear
Yes, I hear a lot of traffic but it is quickly drowned out by the sounds of one friend calling another friend over to see what the first has discovered. I hear music from our DJ and Dan’s Garage Band. I hear parent’s asking their children what games they want to play. I hear a husband tell his wife, “I can’t believe I found this”. I hear a grandchild say that they don’t want to leave because they are having so much fun.
I hear a lot of people ask what we do with the money we make from the fair. And the good news is that I know the answer to that question. Half of what we make goes to church programs. The other half goes directly to community organizations. This year, we are giving to Ann’s Place, “The Home of I Can”, the “Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut”, and Refuge Re-settlement program. It is wonderful knowing that every purchase that customers make goes towards the betterment of other peoples’ lives.
What I know
I see joy on faces. I know the contentment from enjoying some tasty treats. I hear kindness in voices. I know that while we feed the appetites of some, we feed the souls of many.
The church's annual Yankee Fair and Barn Sale is Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the barn opening at 8 a.m. for some great bargains. Admission and parking for the Yankee Fair are free.
For more information and photos of past events, visit our Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Congregational-Church-of-Brookfield/145517585491179?fref=ts
For more information about our church, visit us at http://www.uccb.org