Stonington’s 62nd Village Fair in Wadawanuck Square Saturday featured all of the familiar sights and scents of summer. The event, sponsored by Stonington Community Center (COMO), was a family-friendly fundraiser filled with food, arts, crafts, books, music and games.
The Sidewinders, a Stonington-based R&B band, sent their rhythms wafting from one end of the fair to the other: from where the children's games and gifts were to where the aromas of summertime grilled foods came.
Local eateries , and offered foods and across the street, the Republican Town Committee served strawberry shortcake, with Regional Probate Judge candidate Eric Janney on hand to reach out to voters. His opponent, Nick Kepple, was also working the fair with a group donning his campaign t-shirts.
A private residence offered a back yard to accommodate COMO’s soup kitchen – a casual outdoor dining spot.
“This is the second year we’ve brought in local restaurants to do all of the food for us. Even our soup kitchen this year is all local restaurants that have donated soups,” said COMO Executive Director Jim Truscio.
Truscio has been running the fundraiser for the past 4 years, which he considers a traditional small village fair drawing a lot of community people as well as annual visitors from other regions. People look forward to the annual event and COMO benefits as well, he said.
In addition to vendor tents, Stonington COMO set up a few retail tables including an extension of the thrift store called Treasures & Trifles, the Soup Kitchen and the Book Fair.
According to 10-year veteran volunteer Cormac O’Malley, “These are all books donated in bags and boxes over the years by the community - sorted into 15 different categories and brought up here for the sale.”
Next to the bustling book tables, local artist David Black exhibited his depiction of the book fair – a painting he donated as a silent auction item for the Village Fair.
From the flowery and Mediterranean colored paintings of Above Elite Studios to the silver and gem confections of La De Dah, the fair offered plenty of shopping, arts and crafts.
“I have been coming to the fair ever since my parents moved here 40 years ago. It is a great thing," said resident Kate Loe.
Vendor Sally Buzzi of Creations by Sally had a tent packed with her handmade creations: jewel-toned belts, bags and bracelets.
"This is the only fair I participates in. I am on my fifth year and enjoy it, with the help of my daughters," she said.
Anne Robinson and her mother Kate Robinson have been participating in the fair for the past decade; Annie brings her goods from Oregon every year and takes the opportunity to team up in the jewelry-making business with her mom, a local resident.
Also present were the Stonington Historical Society sharing history, and the Stonington Garden Club, which had dozens of summer floral arrangements on display.
“We have lots of groups that are doing work for us today in order to raise funds for the COMO," Truscio said. "So everything that goes on here today is to help the COMO keep our doors open."