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The annual Holiday Shindy is back with new and returning artisans and vendors.

Pittsfield Holiday Shindy Returns to Zion Lutheran Church

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Holiday Shindy returns to the Zion Lutheran Church on First Street this year with new and longtime vendors.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., shoppers can browse from around 40 artisans offering apparel and accessories, art, homewares, toys, stationery, body care, and food products.

The market has a common theme of sustainability. Crafters from across the region set up picturesque displays that channel holiday cheer.

"We're excited to have our second show in the common room at the Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield.  It's such a warm, inviting and accessible space," co-producer Lauren Barenski said.

"And we're going to be able to utilize it a little bit more fully this year because COVID isn't as much of a concern this time around, which we're all really grateful for. There is lots of new talent that is in the mix this year as well as some of the core family that we have had over the past 15 years that will be rejoining us."

The Holiday Shindy was founded by Crispina ffrench and began as a collective of artists that did a pop-up market in the basement of the former Shire City Sanctuary on Melville Street. Barenski and Liza Gennari helped with the events, becoming co-producers before ffrench sold the sanctuary in early 2019 to the Al-Khalil Cultural Center.

Last year, the event was moved to the Zion Church after a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The co-producers are excited to welcome back more than 10 returning vendors including Hawk Dance Farm, Steve's Tile, and Mostrom and Chase Handweavers bringing a loom for live weaving.



Crispina will be vending her upcycled textile products.

There are also some "returning newbies" such as Lorimer Burns Cermanics — which was one of the original artisans on the Shindy's lineup and is back after a decade-long break — and dog bakery and boutique Roxie's Barkery, which will be returning for a second year.

"Our show has sort of been the launch point in the past for a number of other vendors and businesses," Gennari said, explaining that this is kept in mind when selecting vendors.

She said Roxie's Barkey is a great example of that, as the business has blossomed over the past year.

Bear Butter, an almond butter blend made by the owners of The Spot on Tyler Street, will be featured as a walkabout vendor and for the first time, the market will have a basket weaver as it welcomes Wendy G. Jensen Baskets.

Last year, the Shindy attracted almost 2,000 people and the organizers are hoping for another great turnout this year.

Admission is $3 for the general public and children under the age of 12 are free.

More information can be found at www.holidayshindy.com.


Tags: artisans & crafters,   craft fair,   

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State Fire Marshal: Keep Warm, Keep Safe During Cold Snap

STOW, Mass. — With bitter cold temperatures heading our way this weekend, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is reminding residents to "Keep Warm, Keep Safe" and avoid fire and carbon monoxide (CO) hazards while heating their homes.
 
"Home heating equipment is the second-leading cause of residential fires and the main source of carbon monoxide at home," Ostroskey said. "Working smoke and CO alarms are your first line of defense against these hazards. With furnaces, fireplaces, and space heaters working overtime this weekend, be sure they're installed on every floor of your home and test them to be sure you and your family are protected.
 
Space Heaters
"It's important to keep space heaters at least three feet from curtains, bedding, and anything else that can burn," Ostroskey said. "Plug them directly into a wall socket, not an extension cord or a power strip, and remember that they're intended for temporary use. Always turn a space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep."
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