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The Commons

Around the Towns

Originally published in The Commons issue #180 (Wednesday, November 28, 2012).

Festival of wreaths and greens for sale at All Souls

BRATTLEBORO — The annual Holiday Bazaar at the All Souls Unitarian-Universalist Church will once again offer their unique artisan wreaths and greens on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Beautiful holiday handmade swags, wreaths, table arrangements made from locally cut fresh greens and natural wonders to decorate the largest and smallest of spaces will be available for sale. Berries, cones and other natural contributions adorn the wreaths to make an artistic statement celebrating the beauty of our Vermont environment. The handmade wreaths attract many returning customers and it is not uncommon to find a line waiting at the door for people to get first choice.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., with a menu offering soups, bread and desserts. There will be baked goods including traditional holiday pastries and breads, cakes, cookies, and candies.

Children can make their own natural wonders for gifts at the Elves’ Workshop for Kids, and enjoy a visit from Santa at noon. The popular and fun auction will be open with many gifts such as dinners, a basket of homemade goodies, maple syrup, a hand crocheted bedspread and more.

All proceeds benefit the All Souls Church Unitarian-Universalist at West Village Meeting House whose building is also used for the Garland School and as a gathering for special occasions, community events, and conferences. For more information, call 802-254-9377.

Santa comes to Brattleboro on Dec. 1

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, Dec. 1, Santa Claus will arrive at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street at 1 p.m. on a tractor provided by The Robb Family Farm and escorted by the Police and Fire Departments.

Children can visit with Frosty, Santa and his Elves and have their picture taken for a donation. “Santa’s Workshop” will be open for children to decorate Christmas cookies which are donated and made by “The Hideaway” at Brattleboro Union High School. Also, the BUHS Band will be there playing Christmas tunes.

This event is for children of all ages. For more information, call the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.

Mayan elder leads fire ceremony at Manitou

WILLIAMSVILLE —The Manitou Project is honored to welcome back Nana Mercedes Longfellow to lead the Maya Fire Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mark the end of 2012 with sacred Mayan wisdom and tradition and reflect on its meaning, led by this well-known and honored Mayan elder, who has dedicated most of her life to sharing the Maya ancestral knowledge with others.

“The Maya fire ceremony has been part of traditional Maya spirituality for at least 12,500 years,” she says. “It is held by the Maya as a sacred and powerful ritual. This ceremony is performed by elders, priests and priestesses from all of the different tribes in Guatemala and has been conducted in exactly the same way, with no alterations, for that entire time —125 centuries.”

The ceremony involves the creation of sacred space, prayer, and the making of offerings of candles and copal that have been blessed by the elders in Guatemala. She will also share thoughts about the Mayan calendar, and the significance of the year 2012, as we approach the Dawn of the New Era in the calendar’s cycle.

The day will also include a potluck lunch, so bring a dish to share. The event will happen rain, snow or shine — come dressed for the weather — and there will be indoor options in case of inclement weather. Meet at the Manitou parking lot at 10 a.m. Suggested donation is $20. Pre-registration is suggested. For information, contact Fred at 802-387-2681 or

Winter Farmers’ Market begins extended holiday hours

BRATTLEBORO — Every Saturday through Dec. 22, the Winter Farmers’ Market will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for an extra hour of holiday shopping.

With a wide selection of locally grown and homemade gifts from more than 30 vendors, the market has plenty to offer visitors. Located at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden on Main Street, the market will be held every Saturday through March 31. Contact them at or call 802-869-2141.

St. Luke’s Church presents annual Christmas Tea & Sale

CHESTER — One of the most festive events in the pre-Christmas tradition in Chester is the St. Luke’s Christmas Tea and Sale.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, Willard Hall will be filled with the sounds, smells, and surprises of Christmas. Beginning at 11 a.m. through 3 p.m., there is something for everyone. Delicious light sandwiches and scrumptious sweets will cover the tea table where your choices of coffee, tea and hot spiced cider are poured by a hostess.

You may fill your plate (more than once) for $6, and join friends at inviting little tables festively decorated to eat and chat. Little hostesses come by with trays of goodies. Beforehand or after lunch, you can shop at Grandma’s Attic for little collectibles, check out and choose handmade ornaments and Christmas decorations made throughout the year by the ladies crafting group, and take home some specially baked goodies from the Bake Table.

The church is on Main Street near the village green. Call Adelaide at 802-875-4634 for more information.

Dish on Main hosts benefit for Warming Shelter

SAXTONS RIVER — The Dish on Main restaurant in Saxtons River is hosting a fundraiser for the Greater Falls Warming Shelter Sunday, Dec. 2.

A part of the proceeds of meals served from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day will be donated to the shelter, which opened Nov. 12 in North Walpole, N.H., to serve those without shelter in the greater Rockingham area during the winter months.

Volunteers from the shelter board and partners in the business will act as servers for the event.

Santa comes to Saxtons River on Dec. 2

SAXTONS RIVER — The arrival of Santa on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m., will signal the start of the holiday celebrations in Saxtons River, as the Jolly Elf leads the oohs and aahs when the village Christmas tree is lit in front of the historical society.

After the lighting, Santa will visit with the children and hear Christmas wishes at The Dish on Main restaurant.

This year’s event is sponsored by Main Street Arts, the community arts center. Also participating is Christ’s Church, whose Saxtons River Ringers will offer a free hand bell concert at 4 p.m., followed by a soup and bread supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Both events are free, with donations accepted to benefit the Greater Falls Warming Shelter.

BF plans community Christmas celebration

BELLOWS FALLS — The Bellows Falls Community Christmas will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Opera House. The movie will be Dr.

Seuss’s animated film, The Lorax. Admission is sponsored by the Bellows Falls Rotary Club. Santa will arrive at 3:45 p.m.

The Bellows Falls Woman’s Club and Emblem Club will be providing cookies and punch and this will be served in the Lower Theatre Room following Santa’s arrival. Bring your cameras if you would like pictures of your child with Santa.

Supporters of this event include the town of Rockingham, the Bellows Falls Opera House, Fire Chief Bill Weston and the Bellows Falls Fire Department, the Village Printers, Cota & Cota and Mr. G’s. For more information, contact Rita R. Hinds at 802-463-3779.

Marlboro Historical Society calendars on sale

MARLBORO — Marlboro Historical Society 2013 calendars are now on sale. They are available at the Marlboro Town Office, the Hogback Mountain Gift Shop, and at Vermont Artisans in Brattleboro, or by mail.

The 2013 calendars show some startling contrasts between the hurricane and flood of 1938 and the recent damage from Tropical Storm Irene, and an assortment of photographs depicting various time periods in Marlboro’s history, past and present. The calendar is created by photographer and local historian Forrest Holzapfel. Contact Forrest at 802-258-2568 or for more information.

RFPL hosts ‘So You Want to Buy an eReader’ program on Dec. 5

BELLOWS FALLS — Gadgets like eReaders and tablets have become popular gifts during the holidays as mobile technology has become more affordable, and librarians at the Rockingham Free Public Library can help make sense of the confusion in the marketplace.

Bring your questions to a special program on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m., introducing the various eBook readers that are available. Librarians will provide unbiased information in a neutral setting, which helps consumers make smart choices about how to spend their holiday dollars. The library is also partnering with Village Square Booksellers, which is debuting new eReaders being used by independent booksellers. There will be a handful of devices for people to try.

On Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m., the RFPL will have a follow up program for all the people who received a new gadget over the holidays. At this program, librarians will answer questions about how to configure your device, connect to wireless Internet, and download books from the library’s website.

The library has thousands of eBooks and audiobooks that card holders can download to mobile devices and home computers. Contact the Rockingham Library for more information at 802-463-4270, or visit

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