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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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Marie's North Street Eatery Cuts Ribbon in Pittsfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires.com
The owners of Marie’s North Street Eatery and Gallery hold a ribbon cutting recently.

PITTSFIELD, Mass.- Marie’s North Street Eatery and Gallery brings grab-and-go offerings to North Street in a revamped storefront.  White it has been open since December, a ribbon cutting was held last week as a formal debut. 

Owner Neil Davis wanted a place to “put my foot down in the community” while making social connections. Partner Ashley Marie handles the kitchen and menu curating, focusing on breakfast and lunch favorites.

“We want to have grab-and-go availability for the downtown worker crowd but also we have a made to order lunch menu,” she said.

This includes sandwiches, soups, a salad bar, a rotating hot or cold dip, and future made to order breakfast items. The turkey avocado on farmer's bread has been a customer favorite.

Former tenant Maria Sekowski won’t be found singing karaoke regularly, but the legacy of Maria’s European Delights is honored with her well-known kielbasa on the menu. There is also a “Maria’s Pantry” section with favorites like her packaged pierogis.

The new name pays homage to its predecessor.

“The last week before she closed the business, I sat here with her every day all day and learned her customers,” Marie said.

“I do have a lot of returning customers that came back so I learned what people come in here and look for and mainly we found that it was the kielbasa and the frozen pierogis so they could take home and cook later.”

She added that her and Sekowski spent “a lot of time” talking about recipes for soup and kapusta, a Polished cabbage dish, and she will always be there to lend a helping hand while enjoying her retirement.

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