Christmas fairs set for Saturday

MILFORD – Christmas starts in July for Mariette Facques when she visits craft shops in the Lake Winnipesaukee area, takes the crafters’ business cards and hopes they aren’t booked for the first Saturday in December.

Facques was one of the founders of Share, the local safety net for those in need, and 24 years ago she started the Share Christmas Fair and is still organizing it. An increasing number of fairs means her job is getting harder.

“The last five years there has been a lot more competition for crafters,” Facques said in a phone interview last week.

In Milford alone this year there are almost a dozen fairs on Saturday, Dec. 2, and many more throughout New Hampshire.

In the Share building on Columbus Drive there will be gift items from 20 crafters, who buy tables to sell their crafts, holiday decorations and jewelry.

There’s also a raffle table with “wonderful, wonderful” items, said Facques.

Along with raising money for Share, which helps the needy in Milford, Amherst, Mont Vernon and Brookline, she said, the fair brings people into the building and increases awareness of what Share does.

Throughout the year, Share provides food and clothing and helps with housing, fuel and utility costs and provides new backpacks to school children. It also provides volunteer opportunities to 170 local people, many who are retired.

This week it distributed 379 Thanksgiving baskets, feeding 1,784 people, said executive director Christine Janson.

Come to the fairs

There are nearly a dozen holiday fairs happening in Milford this Saturday, Dec. 2, most from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1. At the Jacques Memorial School, Elm Street.

• The Jacques Holiday Fair, with proceeds benefiting Souhegan Valley Dollars for Scholars.

• The Milford High School Music Boosters Cookie and Bake Sale

2. Holly Berry Fair at the First Congregational Church, Union Street. Lunch at the snack bar and Santa pictures, 10 a.m. to noon.

3. Holiday Craft Fair at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 20 Elm Street, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hot breakfast and lunch available.

4. Share Christmas Fair, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch with chowders, hot dogs and homemade baked goods.

Free photos with Santa.

5. Milford Farmers Market Winter Market. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Town Hall Auditorium

6. Church of Our Saviour Christmas Fair, 10 Amherst St. Cafe 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

7. St. Patrick Church Fair, 34 Amherst St.

8. Candle sale to benefit the Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club and Share, 25 Meadowbrook Drive, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

9. United Methodist Church Christmas Fair, 327 North River Road, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

10. Wrap your gifts and bid on one of the creative wreaths at the Wadleigh Memorial Library, 49 Nashua St.

11. Art Happens. Gift items and a one dollar kids’ workshop, 8:30 to 3 p.m.

Also this Saturday, the Amherst Lions Club will hold its annual crafts fair at the Amherst Middle School, on Cross Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.