The 2017 South Danbury Church’s Church Fair will be on Saturday, July 29, from 9 AM to 2 PM, at the church –1411 U.S. Route 4, in South Danbury, New Hampshire. This annual gathering is both a traditional country church fair, and also a beloved literary event.
This year, the Fair will feature readings from two of our region’s literary treasures, former U.S. Poet Laureate and National Medal of Arts recipient Donald Hall, reading at 11 AM, and acclaimed children’s book author Mary Lyn Ray, reading at 10:30 AM. Donald Hall’s poetry and prose include heartwarming reminiscences of the South Danbury Church, as he fondly remembers his grandmother Kate playing the church organ, and recalls his own attachment to the church when he and his late wife Jane Kenyon played prominent roles as church leaders. Hall’s family roots in the church run deep and his stories of the community are delightful. Mary Lyn Ray also has deep roots in the South Danbury Church and community. Her beautifully illustrated stories often reflect the inspiration she derives from her rural surroundings. Both authors will be available for book signing, and attendees are encouraged to bring favorite Donald Hall and Mary Lyn Ray books to be autographed.
Immediately following Donald Hall’s reading, auctioneer extraordinaire Doug Windsor will preside over the highly entertaining annual auction. The Fair will also feature crafts, baked goods, homemade ice cream, a hot dog and hamburger lunch including homemade baked beans, and the popular day-long yard sale of household goods, treasures, and collectibles.
In 1866, South Danbury neighbors formed a Christian Society to build a Meetinghouse for the community; construction began in May 1867, and was completed six months later, in October 1867. The embodiment and anchor of our village identity and a cherished connection to our heritage, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The South Danbury Church, an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, is now the village’s one remaining public building, still hosting community celebrations, worship, and many different programs about local skills and traditions, music, art, history, literature, folklore, farming, and nature.
To honor its 150th anniversary and to respect its history, a preservation project is underway to insure that it will remain the vital core of our community for the next 150 years. The State of New Hampshire has awarded a LCHIP (Land and Community Heritage Program) challenge grant to match our fundraising, IF we can raise $80,000 ourselves. Gifts of cash or checks and donated labor and materials to help meet our goal are welcome and appreciated.
For more information about the South Danbury Church Fair or the church preservation effort, call 603-491-3196 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.