Get into the spirit of the holidays and find an array of holiday gifts, food, music, and old-fashioned good cheer by visiting Fairhaven on Saturday, 12/9, for the annual Old-Time Holiday in the historical town center. Over the years it has become one of Fairhaven’s favorite events.
Twenty-five years ago, in December 1998, the Fairhaven Office of Tourism first launched what was then called the “Very Victorian Holiday,” bringing together about thirty non-profit, school, and church groups to create a weekend filled with old-fashioned holiday events. Previously, independent groups had held fairs, bazaars, concerts, luncheons, sing-alongs, and other activities over the course of several weeks between mid-November and Christmas. What was different in 1998 was that most of those events were moved to a single weekend and promoted as one big, holiday package, wrapped in a Victorian theme, with the public able to walk from location to location in the center of town. Tourism Director Christopher Richard credits Millicent Allen and Helen Radcliffe with first suggesting the idea.
“The idea really caught on,” Richard says, “and now people come from quite a distance to attend. We regularly see people visiting from the Cape and Rhode Island for the Old-Time Holiday”
This year, the Old-Time Holiday events will take place during the day and early evening on Saturday, December 9 and also includes a December 10 event the following day.
Craft & Vendor Fairs
On Saturday, both the First Congregational Church, 34 Center Street, and the Unitarian Memorial Church, 102 Green Street, will hold fairs, with church members and outside vendors displaying a wide variety of items for sale. In a similar vein, a number of the town’s non-profit groups and a few commercial vendors will have tables at the Town Hall, 40 Center Street. At these locations you’ll find handmade crafts, gifts, holiday greens, delicious baked goods, gift baskets, silent auction items to bid on, and more. In the Town Hall there will also be a few children’s activities. All three fairs run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Unitarian Church, a magnificent English-Gothic style “cathedral,” will also give guided tours of the sanctuary during the day.
Book Sale & Reindeer Food
At the Millicent Library, 45 Center Street, there will be live music, treats, a book sale and a drop-in craft activity for children. The used book sale will be held in the downstairs auditorium, sponsored by Friends of the Millicent Library. Upstairs in the children’s room, kids can stop in from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to make Reindeer Food for Santa’s eight tiny reindeer with Miss Allie. The library will be open during its regular Saturday hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Santa’s Sweet Shop
Also on Saturday is “Santa’s Sweet Shop” at the Northeast Maritime Institute, 32 Washington Street. The Institute will team up with Dorothy Cox’s Chocolate to bring the building alive with holiday cheer. They will have a hot cocoa bar and chocolates with Dorothy Cox and family, fun crafts, and most importantly…. Santa! Stroll on over, sip some hot cocoa, take a picture with Santa, grab some delicious Dorothy Cox’s chocolates and be merry! Santa will be there from 11:00 a m. to 2:00 p.m. for pictures.
As lunch time rolls around, food will be available at three locations. A lobster roll luncheon will be held at the First Congregational Church. The Cove Surf and Turf restaurant will be catering the luncheon, and all proceeds will be going to the church. Along with the 1/4 lb. lobster rolls, there will be chowder, stuffed quahogs, and hot dogs. Across the street at the Town Hall, Boy Scout Troop 52 will be set up on the front steps selling hotdogs, and in the Town Hall Banquet Room the North Fairhaven Improvement Association will serve hot soups, meat pies, spinach pies, soda and water. There will also be popcorn available from the Fairhaven Village Militia. And at the Harrop Center of the Unitarian Memorial Church, there will be a Soup and Sandwich Luncheon from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m.
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, the day will wrap up when the Fairhaven Improvement Association hosts its annual Sing-Along on the steps of Town Hall. There will be caroling and the arrival of Santa on a fire engine. Then hot chocolate and snacks will be available inside in the auditorium.
Youth Vendor Fair
On Sunday, December 10, a new event will be held. There will be a Youth Vendor Fair at the Fairhaven Recreation Center, 227 Huttleston Ave., Route 6, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Kid entrepreneurs up to 18 years old will be setting up shop to offer a variety of items for sale. The event includes Santa’s workshop, food, music and more. Admission is free.
During Fairhaven’s Old-Time Holiday, people of all ages from throughout the Southcoast area can find something to put them into the holiday spirit.
You can find more information about the weekend by visiting https://fairhaventours.com/old-time-holiday/.
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