New Paltz Festive Fairs

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lim.

The holidays are here and New Paltz has gotten into the holly jolly spirit.

Holiday fairs and events have brightened the whole town with tinsel, treats and tradition.

The Unison Arts Center held their 24th Annual Holiday Crafts Fair, a major event in New Paltz, on Dec. 6 and 7 in the New Paltz Middle School.

With a small admission charge benefiting the arts center, residents bought high-end and local gallery-quality handcrafted gift items, ceramics, jewelry, leather work, woodwork, children’s clothing, wreaths and blown glass.

Helene Bigley, the Coordinator of the Crafts Fair said in a press release, “I just love seeing the transformation of the middle school gym into a colorful and inviting space filled with great crafts for people to buy.”

Vendor Alexa Ginsburg, owner of Naturally Felt, makes soft sculptures and accessories out of felt and has been a part of the fair for several years.

“It’s a great fair,” Ginsburg said. “There’s really nice people and vendors.”

New Paltz resident, Rosalyn Cherry, has not missed this annual event once since she moved to New Paltz and said it is a great experience each year.

“Every December the Unison Crafts Fair attracts a luscious assortment ranging from painters to potters to jewelers to woodworkers to leatherworkers to photographers to fiber artists to basket makers and much more,” Cherry said. “There is so much energy in the air between meeting the artists and learning about their crafts as well as supporting the arts in our own backyard.”

On top of this event, the local religious community held some of their own fairs, including the Reformed Church of New Paltz which held a Christmas fair, and the Methodist Church, which held an Alternative Giving Fair.

The Reformed Church sold Christmas tree ornaments, fresh baked cakes, pies, cookies and breads, handmade gifts and hand-knit scarves, all proceeds benefiting the church and its programs for the community.

At the Methodist Church, patrons of the fair purchased homemade soups, jams, arts, and special items specifically benefiting the Washbourne House, Ulster County’s domestic violence shelter.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh hosted a table at the fair, promoting their volunteer efforts in the community. They are looking for volunteers for their local efforts and provide a monthly bus tour, showing the different houses in the community they have renovated or built. For more information about volunteering for them, call the office at 845-568-6035, or visit online.