The annual Stone Ridge Library Fair is such a popular community event each year, says Jody Ford, the library’s director, that people have told her that they make a point of blocking the second Saturday in June out on their calendars in anticipation of it. Even rainy weather doesn’t put a damper on things, she says, with one of their busiest fairs ever having taken place on a day when it poured. So whatever the weather brings, this year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the library lawn.
The free event, open to all, will have live music, children’s activities and plenty of food prepared by volunteers, who will offer sausage and peppers, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, vegetarian entrees and lots of summertime lemonade, cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream and homemade strawberry shortcake.
Among the biggest attractions at the fair, Ford says, are the Giant Book Sale and the plant tent full of annuals, perennials and vegetable seedlings donated by local nurseries and residents, who contribute clippings and small plants from their own gardens. And the starring attraction in the plant tent is the daylily booth, organized by library trustee Rosemary Deen, who contributes bulbs from some 50 varieties of lily, for which people come year after year, according to Ford. “Rosemary is very knowledgeable about them, and each bulb is clearly marked and labeled with its name. Once people buy the lilies at the fair, they come the next year looking for another type.”
The book sale features donations from local residents collected year-round. “Our book barns are stuffed full right now,” Ford says, “so we have a lot to bring out. The books are clean and well-organized, and I think people will be very happy with what they see.”
Traditionally the Library has done a two-day book sale with a bag sale on Sunday; but, the director notes, since the Sunday following the fair is Fathers’ Day, the book sale will be a one-day event this year, on Saturday only. The library will have a bag sale of books later in the year, Ford promises – in October. Prices for the books range from $1 to $2, with some special selections priced from $3 to $5.
In addition to plants and books, a variety of donated jewelry, pottery, glassware, china and other small treasures will be available for purchase at bargain prices at “Eleanor’s Emporium,” named after a longtime library volunteer. And the Saturday Knitters, a group of 15 to 20 knitters who meet regularly at the library every Saturday, will have handcrafted items suitable for gift-giving that they created for the fair, using yarn donated by the community.
All the proceeds from the fair go to the Stone Ridge Library’s operating budget for the year. But to aid the library with its extensive ongoing building restoration project, there will be something new added to the fair this year: a silent art auction. All the proceeds from the auction will be directed toward the necessary construction work on the historic library buildings.
According to Priscilla Derven, Library Foundation Board member, there will be approximately 30 to 35 works of art donated by local artists or art collectors. The selection will include drawings, pastels, paintings and prints, along with possibly a sculpture or two and artisan works. Bidding will begin at 10 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. Prices will vary, with most starting at a minimum $50 bid.