WinterFaire offers “Preacher’s Pies” and so much more

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By HELEN HINCHLIFF

Driftwood Contributor

WinterFaire at the United Church is right around the corner, this coming Saturday to be exact. Once again, we’re pulling out all the stops and opening all the doors to a festive entry into the Christmas season.

We’re opening at 9 a.m., so early birds may want to head straight for the Christmas Café for coffee and a muffin. You can return later for our famous five-dollar lunch consisting of one-quarter of a tourtiere pie with cole slaw on the side; vegetarian chili is also an option. Speaking of our tourtiere pies, our loyal customers always order several frozen pies for pick up when they’re ready to go home. We have 106 tourtiere and 12 chicken pies ready to serve you.

Before heading downstairs, consider making your first pass through 120 silent auction items. We’re featuring a little boy’s dream bicycle, your choice of a number of fabulous paintings and prints (Toni Onley, Franz Bischoff, Jill Louise Campbell, and others), antique chairs, special pieces of jewellery, and much more.  You can check the status of your bids when you come back upstairs for lunch and, if you must go before the gong rings at 1:30 p.m., you can pay 15 per cent over the stated value for that “must-have” item and take it with you.

Don’t forget to check out the Cash and Carry items where you can pick up some bargains that are either brand new or simply “new to you.” We have quite a collection of purses, vases, kitchen gadgets, games, serving pieces, and some well-loved Christmas decorations, all at bargain basement prices.

Speaking of basements, if you haven’t been downstairs already, you’re in for many treats. The Lower Hall will be chockablock with baked items, including our famous rum-soaked, dark fruit cake. We have 50 on hand, so we won’t run out early as we did last year. New this time around are our “Preacher’s Pies,” assembled by our baker extraordinaire and brand new minister, the Reverend Chris Levan, whose daily bread is like manna from Heaven. Chris reports he has 40 frozen pies ready for you to pop into the oven. As always, we also have a wide variety of Christmas cookies.

An elf brigade has been especially busy this autumn creating handmade crafts. We have ornaments for your Christmas tree, stocking stuffers, and table top Christmas trees among many other items. A second brigade has been putting up jars of blackberry jam and jelly, plum jam and jelly, cranberry chutney and sauce, red currant jelly, pickled beets, marmalade, and plum mincemeat, among others. We also have frozen soups, including mulligatawny, pea, chicken, and borscht for you to take home. Chicken liver pate is also available. 

As always, we have our kids’ fishing pond. The elves say we have plenty of prizes to fish for, so you’re bound to catch one. Nearby are toys, games, and other gifts for boys and girls including a lovely collection of stuffed bears.

Newcomers are always amazed by the quantity and variety of Christmas cheer to be had at WinterFaire. They tell us what they love most is our Christmas Café where they can meet friends over lunch or simply relax in a quiet corner with a cup of hot mulled cider and spend a few minutes listening to Christmas carols played on our grand piano while feeling enfolded by festive cheer.

And just think! The proceeds go to support the work of the church. We’ve been working especially hard to make “First Nations connections” as well as to offer a warm and hospitable space plus coffee and scones to friends, neighbours, or anyone wanting someone to talk to. On Wednesday mornings we offer a hot breakfast and a chance to come from the cold. We also coordinate the annual Community Christmas Dinner held at the Legion on Christmas Day and try to maintain the meadow as a welcoming space for all in the heart of the village.

The United Church is located at 111 Hereford Ave. We’re open for WinterFaire on Saturday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, for those who can’t come then, we will be open in the Lower Hall on Sunday, Nov. 25, from 11 a.m. until noon.  

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