It was a somewhat gloomy start to the 27th St. Francis Fair held this year on August 12th at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds. Despite the fog and drizzle (OK, rain at times) the crowds came.
For more than a quarter century St. Francis has donated more than $120,000 to local organizations that have partnered with us including Tree of Life, Habitat for Humanity, CFO, THAW, Peninsula Ambulance Corp, H.O.M.E, Nichols Day Camp, and this year our partner was The SPCA of Hancock County.
This is a yearlong project for St. Francis led by unsung dedicated volunteers.
Suzanne Decrow has been a part of the Fair longer than anyone else, from its inception when Junque for Jesus was called the White Elephant Table.Once again she and her very loyal crew handled this gigantic yard sale, and Joe Thompson graciously, once again, offered his barn for storage. He also heads up the Tool Booth.
David Decrow was in charge of the beverage booth again but what he does behind the scenes is really his gift to the Fair.
Kevin Hunt & John Chappel wrangled all the set-up and take-down chores in addition to solving last minute problems.
The Grillers have become an institution led for years by Brinley Hall who has passed the “grills” on to Brenda Higgins this year. Few can pass up the sausage or hamburger offerings, or the aromas.
Nor can many pass up the delicious offerings at the food table chaired by Chris Ramsay and Judy Rountree. Almost everything sold out quite quickly.
And, of course, next to the food is the ever popular Strawberry Shack chaired by Mary Boyd which also will sell out on a hot day.
Thousands of books are for sale by a committee headed by Julie Boardman and Marcia Fenn and a number of others who spent the early spring sorting books in Marcia’s basement.
Another other very popular booth, of course, is Jewelry and Scarves chaired by Sandy Snow who always does a wonderful job of organization and presentation.
Granny’s Attic (all things kids) is back again led by Everdell and Judy Rountree offering new and very slightly used toys and books and will again be located in the same tent as Children’s activities organized by Andrew Chung where face painting and crafts are free as is the horse-drawn wagon ride.
Sums up the Fair with a smile!
Children’s Books are again being lovingly cared for by Kathy DeSilvey.
The Treasure Chest, with chairs Milissa LeLonde and Katie MacLeod, will have wonderful antiques and modern discoveries, and there will also be a small silent auction as part of the overall booth.
The incredibly popular Garden Shed is back and chaired by Sue and Pudge Grindle. This offered all things gardening including plants, herbs, arrangements, tools, books, vases, and even free advice from master gardeners.
There is always a lot that goes on behind the scenes including the coffee cart with Fred and Prudy Heilner which started early on Saturday morning providing coffee and donuts to not only everyone setting up, but also to the many who are lined up waiting to get in.
Jack Joyce and Page Williamson were once again masters of ceremony making important announcements and coordinating music including the very talented Scott Grindle. Who entertained for four hours and whose ‘gratuity’ filled jar realized more than $200 dollars of donations for St. Francis and our partner The SPCA of Hancock County.
Joe Lendvai has agreed to photograph the whole event as he has been doing for over 15 years. Anne and Brent Follweiller always take care of any signs that need to be put up or taken down, and Judy Rountree does an exceptional job of publicity.
Elaine MacLean handled the Package Check, a very necessary addition to the Fair, and unseen by almost everyone, Jon Dullnig is our security force on Friday evening throughout the night. He is our Wyatt Earp.
The “Money Man” was once again Tim Thomas who making sure there was change for you when you spent your money to help St. Francis and our fair partner The SPCA of Hancock County.
Nancy Doane, Fair-Co-Chair, (on the right) as a past fair chair is ever-present, from helping to count the money, to working at the Treasure Chest, to making sure the chair is organized. The Fair could not happen without her gentle and gracious support.
The magician who pulled it all together this year: Fair Chair Mary Hartley who has been going full throttle for months and after Fair weekend needs some well deserved rest. Thank you, Mary and your all-volunteer staff.
This was a truly wonderful afFAIR.
And Thank You!!!