This Saturday, December 13, Stella Maris Regional School in Sag Harbor will hold their annual Christmas Fair in the school auditorium. Although a Christmas Fair has been held at Stella Maris for nearly 25 years now, Principal Janie FitzGerald Peters said this year it is going to be a bit different. This time around, parent Kelly Bailey has taken over the organizational responsibilities for the fair and has decided to include local businesses at the event.
It all began as a craft fair, years ago, when parents and others from the community offered homemade gifts at a reasonable price. This time around, there will still be homemade items available for people of all ages, but in addition, local merchants have rented space at Stella Maris to offer affordable gifts from their businesses to the community as well.
“It’s taken different forms through the years,” Peters said, “but this is the first time we have invited different stores to take part in the fair.”
According to Bailey, there will be a combination of gifts and edible treats for the entire family. Bailey said there will be everything from kittens (from ARF) to homemade ornaments to delectable treats, including Principal Peters’ chicken noodle soup made from scratch — a favorite among her students that she usually makes for the students once a week for lunch.
“It’s tough times out there,” Bailey said on Tuesday, “we want to help our community with the idea that this will also help our local businesses.”
Bailey said that some of the local shops will offer their goods at a discounted rate for shoppers and others will offer coupons and special services. C’s Cleaning and Home & Office Management is selling gift certificates; Harbor Salons is offering their range of organic beauty products and Canio’s Bookstore will have a variety of books for people of all ages.
Other stores involved include the Wharf Shop, Andrew & Co. Brennan’s Bit & Bridle, Flying Point Surf and Sport, and Bees Needs.
“I think everyone involved knows they are doing it to help the community,” Bailey said, “It’s a tough time right now.”
Although this is Bailey’s first effort at organizing the Christmas fair, it is not her first time offering volunteer services. Bailey divides her time as a mother and interior designer with volunteering for the Sag Harbor Fire Department. Bailey will also showcase some of her own work at the fair, which includes etched glassware of images around Sag Harbor.
Some of the other homemade gifts that can be found at the fair are knitted goods, handbags, jewelry, paintings, candles, chocolate and photographs.
“I am pleasantly surprised by the result,” Peters said. There is currently a list of 25 to 30 vendors and the school is still accepting more. Bailey said the fee is $50 for a space in the auditorium and asked that anyone interested in participating call the school for more details.
“It’s hard to be a local merchant right now,” Peters added. “Mom and pop stores are having a hard time, but that is the whole back bone of our community.”
“Everyone knows it’s crunch time and its getting tougher by the day,” she continued, “but this is Sag Harbor’s strength, and the influence from the local community is one of the most beautiful things about living here.”
Peters said this is why the school has asked local businesses to get involved and they have received great feedback. For those who were unable to participate, the school has received generous donations. Some local companies are donating food that will be sold during the fair and allowing Stella Maris to keep the profits.
For example, Agave’s South of the Border has donated soup and Bagel Buoy has contributed bagels for Saturday’s event. WLNG also helped out by giving the school free advertising to promote the fair.
This year, there will also be free gift-wrapping at the fair, courtesy of the parents of Stella Maris student and other community volunteers – all of whom are donating their time on Saturday to wrap gifts for shoppers.
Merchants participating are asked to donate one item to the Stella Maris table, which will be sold to help raise funds for the school. This year, Santa will also be paying a visit to the fair on Saturday, for those who want to have their photo taken with him.
The Christmas Fair will take place in the Stella Maris auditorium, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday December 13.
Stella Maris Regional School is located at 135 Division Street, Sag Harbor. Interested vendors may call the school at (631) 725-2525 or visit www.stellamarisschool.org.