Church Mouse

A Community Cookbook and a Community-Made Quilt Are New at Mt. Washington’s Church Fair, August 6

Mt. Washington, MA, July 7, 2016—One of the most beloved family events in the Berkshires, the Mt. Washington Church Fair, is coming up on the first Saturday in August, as it has for more than 75 years, with two new attractions underscoring its town-wide ecumenical nature: a community cookbook and, the top raffle prize, a quilt that was handstitched by 16 town residents. 
This year's Fair is scheduled (rain or shine) for Saturday, August 6, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., at the intersection of East St. and Cross Road. Admission is free and includes a ticket for door prize drawings for a select group of upscale merchandise. Proceeds from the Fair benefit the town's tiny Church of Christ, open only 10 weeks a year, which in turn distributes most of the funds to a variety of secular and religious, local, national and international charities.
Uniting religious and non-religious residents in a good cause, the Fair brings out the town's best talents, from crafters and cooks to artists and entertainers, and is abuzz with shopping options, tempting food choices, and activities to delight people of all ages. Well-known Mt. Washington and Otis musical duo Sandy & Sandy (regulars at The Red Lion Inn, among other area venues) will entertain throughout the day, and there will be games, face-painting and a clown to amuse the kids. Fair chair Lila Wolff Wilkinson calls the Fair, "an extraordinary, happy, collaborative year-long effort that begins the day after the last Fair closes its tents."

The cookbook, entitled Mountain Cookery, is an updated, expanded and more durable edition of the 1963 original, which was a typed and mimeographed collection of favorite family recipes contributed by townspeople. The new version is a handsome hard-covered, spiral-bound book, which includes much of the original content plus new recipes from current residents in an easy-to-use tabbed format packed with valuable extras. Purchasers can download one copy of the content to a digital device.
The extraordinary, one-of-a-kind quilt, entitled “The Trees of the Mountain,” is made up of 16 crewel-embroidered squares showing images of native leaves, nuts and pods. It was designed by Linda Dufault and assembled and finished by Carol Green, both longtime residents and skilled quilters. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the Fair or at Guido's Fine Marketplace in Great Barrington, where the quilt will be on display from July 4th Weekend until the drawing.

Back for a second season is the popular Mt. Washington Antiques Road Show Booth, where nationally renowned art and antiques dealer Charles L. Flint (www.charlesflint.com), will be donating his time (from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) to appraise prized possessions small enough to be carried by hand. Proprietor of an eponymous shop located in Lenox, Flint is the president of Lenox Historical Society, vice-president of Berkshire Historical Society and a board member of the Bidwell House Museum. He lectures and researches art and local history and has performed appraisals and authentications for many area museums. Art and antiques dealer Scott Martin of Lenox will assist.
Also returning is the Silent Auction, offering for bidding an impressive selection of valuable services and fine art, including “Imminent Trouble,” an astonishing oil painting on carved pine wood by well-known local artist Morgan Bulkeley. Fairgoers will have an opportunity to scope out auction items and place bids before the raffle and prize drawings begin at 1:30 p.m. Other prize- winning opportunities include the hospitality raffle, which promises lunches or dinners for two at favorite area restaurants, and drawings for truckloads of wood and gravel.

Other returning favorites will include: the Artists & Artisans table, exhibiting the finest quality handcrafted decorative pieces, apparel and home goods, photography (framed and unframed), and original and print artworks, all made on the “mountain”; the White Elephant Tent, known for its legendary deals; Second-Hand Rose & Robert, home to gently used fashion finds for men, women and children; mountain-made goodies from  homemade jams to  granola; town logo tees and other exclusive memorabilia; fresh native flowers and  plants; original jewelry designs; and a seating area under the trees for relaxing and enjoying hot grill food, an extensive salad bar, ice cream and tempting homemade cakes and pies.