It doesn’t matter what you call them - Holiday Boutiques, Santa Sales, Merrie Faires, Wrapped in Love, etc. - they’re still bazaars! They may have started their grand entrances in early summer, but November is the busiest month. They will come dressed as fundraisers for firehouses, ambulance bays, pediatric wards, homeless veterans, and more, but most are hosted by churches. They have to be doing better than breaking even because they continue to appear year after year. And they just get larger.

One that gets a five-candle rating is the annual Holiday Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9-10 at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Mount Hope Road in Middletown. It involves the entire congregation. From specialized woodcrafting, mostly in doll furnishings, to hand-quilted bed coverings, it’s a beautifully displayed sale. The cafe-lunch is a winner, too.

The beautiful Orange County Arboretum, which offers the public beds of tulips in the spring and blossoms throughout summer on trees and in gardens, offers one of Orange County’s newest holiday sales. The Holiday Boutique will be from 2-8 p.m. Nov. 23-24 and from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Arboretum in the Thomas Bull Memorial Park off Route 416 in Montgomery. The event has been lovingly put together by a devoted group of volunteers who are garden lovers. They help keep the Arboretum beautiful. They’ll have fresh wreaths, plants and holiday ornaments, along with gnomes, Santas, scarves and hats, holiday baskets, honey and more. Their creative skills can be purchased with checks or cash only. Every cent is turned back into the Arboretum. For information, call 239-7506.

What makes every bazaar and fair special is the social connection. These are neighbors visiting and it’s more than a cheerful hello.

There is a complete list of all the local holiday craft fairs and bazaars listed in the Holiday Happenings found on If you would like to add your holiday event to the list, email Donna Kessler at

Coming up

• The annual free breakfast for veterans hosted by the Polish Legion of American Veterans Ladies Auxiliary will be from 8 a.m.-noon Nov. 10. It will be at 16 Legion Road in Pine Island, the day before Veterans Day as it falls on a Sunday this year. Donna McNally is the chair.

• SUNY Sullivan will host an Open House at 11 a.m. Nov. 10 on its campus in Loch Sheldrake. Students and parents considering enrolling for the spring 2019 semester or next fall will get an overview of all the college has to offer. It is ranked one of New York State’s Top 10 Community Colleges by both and For a registration form, call the admissions office at 434-5750 or visit

• Free flu shots will be given to veterans with a proper ID on Nov. 11. The free flu shots are the American Family Care’s way of saying thanks to our veterans. For information as to time and place, call Nancy Bostrom at 919-459-8163.

• The Wallkill River School will have an exhibit of miniature artworks just in time for the gift-giving season. Submit any framed miniature works of fine art (no larger than 6 inches) with a completed prospectus no later than Nov. 29. A $5 hang fee per piece is charged and an artist is invited to show no more than 10 pieces.

This & that

• Winter hours are now in effect for many state historic sites, including Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh. Hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Groups and schools can visit Tuesday through Saturday. The hours will change again in mid-April. For information, call 562-1195 or visit Facebook at

• The Palisades Parks Conservancy has completed its capital campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the Tower of Victory at Washington’s Headquarters, considered one of the Hudson Valley’s treasures. For 125 years it has stood as the nation’s monument to the lasting peace that came after the end of the Revolutionary War. Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of the President and then Secretary of War, commissioned John Hemingway Duncan, one of the nation’s most renowned architects at that time, to design the massive stone arched structure that hosts bronzes sculpted by William Rudolf O’Donovan, the pre-eminent monumental sculpture of the day. It stands on the property where Gen. Washington created the Badge of Military Merit, now called the Purple Heart Medal.

Barbara Bedell’s column appears daily. Reach her at 346-3125 or by e-mail: