With Halloween out of the way, many are looking ahead to the holiday gift-giving season. And if you're hoping to find gifts that are not the usual department store fare, the next two weekends are chock full of opportunities - not to mention opportunities to get some great homemade food.
This weekend, First Presbyterian Church, 76 Salem Ave., Carbondale, will hold its fall festival Saturday, Nov. 3, beginning at 10 a.m., featuring baked goods, a coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch, a Christmas booth with handmade crafts, nearly-new booth and a silent auction.
Also in Carbondale, the Carbondale PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) team will host a holiday gift fair Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Carbondale Area Elementary School, 103 Brooklyn St., Carbondale. Funds from the event will go toward PROSPER's drug and alcohol abuse- and bullying-prevention programs. Items on sale will include product from Miche, Mary Kay, Avon, Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia, Scentsy and Stampin Up. Handcrafted items such as jewelry, scarves, shawls, toyboxes, hair bows and home décor will also be featured. In addition, baskets, door prizes and food will be available. Admission is $2 per person. Call 963-6842 for more information.
The grand-daddy of them all is the three-day fest that will be held by St. John The Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral next weekend, Nov. 9 to 11, at St. John's Center, 706 Hill St., Mayfield. The bazaar will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Many crafters and vendors will be on hand, with stands on both the upper and lower levels of the hall. Some of the gifts are imported from Russia, Greece and the Holy Land including matroshka (nesting) dolls, samovars, amber jewelry, olive wood manger sets, table coverings, painted pysanky, icons, jewelry, art work, household products, books and candles.
Don't forget the food: On Friday, the menu includes St. John's famous homemade pierogies, halushki, clam chowder, pizza, fish dinners, fish sandwiches and grilled shrimp Caesar salad. On Saturday and Sunday the menu is more extensive, featuring Friday's menu along with homemade halupki, served individually or as a dinner, chicken marsala dinners, city chicken dinners, gyros, sausage and pepper sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, meatball subs and grilled chicken Caesar salad. Call 876-0730 for more information.
Also next weekend, the First United Methodist Church of Carbondale will celebrate its annual bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring homeade pies, breads, cookies, relishes, jams and brownies, as well as a candy and fudge table. Handmade ornaments, angels and needlework will also be on sale, and there will also be a flea market. Lunch will be served.