Santa’s elves have got nothing on the elves of Boothbay Region Garden Club. BRCG members are busy readying for the Holiday Festival, formerly known as Festival of Trees, Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Boothbay Harbor.
This is the first year BRGC is holding a two-day event since 2020. Last year, the Club held a one-day event on Boothbay Common. But returning to two days and counting on two days of good weather was a bit risky. “Historically it’s always been two days, we needed somewhere that wouldn’t require masks and would give us enough space,” BRGC member Kevin Bowler said. “And St. Columba’s does give us almost as much space as we had in the Opera House. We will have all the same shops as before.”
“They’ve been very accommodating,” Carole McCarthy said. “And it was time for a change.”
Look forward to the return of your favorite shops: Nature’s Gifts, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, Table and Mantle, and ETC with Dinner’s Ready, Wreaths and Trees ... and more!
Dinner’s Ready proved quite popular last year so it’s no surprise these fully prepared heat them-up-and-eat meals are back. Last year 40 meals sold in three hours. Most of the garden club members who stay around all year (about 50) have made at least one meal. They are selling for $15 per meal (each one serves four). BRGC chefs have been busy cooking up some tasty options: Brunswick stew, chili, spinach-broccoli risotto, chicken casseroles, chicken lentil soup, shrimp and corn soup, tomato and basil soup; pulled pork, beef carbonades a la flamande ...
“These garden club ladies, they are fantastic cooks! They are amazing,” said Linda Bonin, club member, and lead for this facet of the Festival.
Nature’s Gifts – Elves create home décor with elements from the natural world including moss, tree bark, starfish, driftwood and more. BRGC lead elf of this shop said there will be live evergreen sprays for holiday décor options. And the ever-popular birdhouses covered in peanut butter topped with seed will be back. Shaw said these sell quickly so best fly on down first thing!
Gift Baskets/Decorative Boxes – BRGC co-head elf Sandy Abernathy reported she and Irene Gerny have been busy for quite a while creating those themed baskets everyone loves to give. This year, look for pasta, new baby, child fun – coloring books, paints, markers, etc., breakfast, and so much more.
“We’re known for our quirky (basket) ideas!” Elf Abernathy said. “We also will have pillows, tapestries … and this year some special Santa figurines.”
BRGC was gifted with 16 boxed Duncan Royale History of Santa Claus figurines; and each one is different – all classical versions Royale began creating in 1983 and through the ’90s. They are still sought after collectibles, so check them out online.
“There’s also a beautiful woodland Santa, a big sleigh with Santa, and a wooden reindeer,” Abernathy said.
Wreaths/Trees – Choose from red, gold and other color bows for your new wreath. And it may not be the Festival of Trees, but there will be decorated trees, mostly in the two to four-foot range, but Bowler said, there will be a few taller Christmas trees.
Table & Mantle – handmade floral arrangements and table décor; ETC, where an eclectic array of holiday gift ideas abound; and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe – well, this one is pretty straightforward; everyone could do with a wee sweet ... or two ...
Gift certificates from merchants and restaurants all over town and a few from Wiscasset. “Everyone has been extremely generous,” McCarthy said. “Extremely.”
All sales are cash or check only.
All proceeds from this event support BRGC’s outreach: scholarships for graduating senior(s) going on to study environmental sciences; planting and maintaining public gardens, particularly Armillary Garden and Memorial; activities for Gregory Wing and St. Andrews Village residents, scholarships for Camp Knickerbocker, window box flowers – and wreaths this time of year – for municipal buildings.
St. Columba’s is at 32 Emery Lane. There will be signs down the peninsula directing people to the church. There will be parking attendants (a.k.a. “elf” husbands) directing holiday shoppers in the church parking lot. No parking is permitted along the Lane. And, as of Nov. 20, masks are recommended, but not required, at the church.
For more about the Garden Club, visit https://www.boothbayregiongardenclub.org