Holiday festival in St. Columba on December 2nd and 3rd – 71Bait

Santa’s elves have nothing against the elves of the Boothbay Region Garden Club. BRCG members are busy preparing for the Holiday Festival, formerly known as the Festival of Trees, held on Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd from 9am to 5pm at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Boothbay Harbor.

This is the first year since 2020 that BRGC is holding a two-day event. Last year the club held a one day event on Boothbay Common. But going back to two days and counting on two days of good weather was a bit risky. “In the past it’s always been two days, we needed a place that didn’t require masks and that gave us enough space,” said BRGC member Kevin Bowler. “And St. Columba’s gives us almost as much space as we had at the opera house. We will all have the same deals as before.”

“They were very accommodating,” Carole McCarthy said. “And it was time for a change.”

Enjoy the return of your favorite shops: Nature’s Gifts, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, Table and Mantle and ETC with Dinner’s Ready, Wreaths and Trees… and more!

dinner is ready proved very popular last year, so it’s no surprise these fully prepared dishes to reheat and eat are back. 40 meals sold in three hours last year. Most garden club members who stay here year-round (about 50) have prepared at least one meal. They sell for $15 per meal (each serves four). BRGC chefs have been busy preparing some tasty options: Brunswick Stew, Chili, Spinach Broccoli Risotto, Chicken Casseroles, Chicken Lentil Soup, Shrimp Corn Soup, Tomato Basil Soup; Pulled Pork, Beef Carbonades a la Flamande…

“These garden club ladies are fantastic cooks! They are fantastic,” said Linda Bonin, club member and director of this facet of the festival.

gifts of nature – Elves create home decorations using elements from nature, including moss, tree bark, starfish, driftwood and more. BRGC Lead Elf of this shop said there will be live evergreen sprays for holiday decorating options. And the ever-popular birdhouses covered in peanut butter and coated in seeds will be back. Shaw said these are selling fast so best fly on first!

gift baskets/Decorative boxes – Sandy Abernathy, co-head of the BRGC, reported that she and Irene Gerny have been busy for quite a while creating these themed baskets that everyone loves to give away. This year look for pasta, new baby, kids fun – coloring books, paints, markers etc, breakfast and much more.

“We’re known for our offbeat (basket) ideas!” said Elf Abernathy. “We’ll also have cushions, tapestries… and some special Santa figurines this year.”

BRGC was gifted with 16 boxed Duncan Royale History of Santa Claus figures; and each one is different – all the classic versions, Royale started developing in 1983 and throughout the 90’s. They’re still coveted collectibles, so check them out online.

“There’s also a beautiful woodland Santa, a big Santa’s sleigh and a wooden reindeer,” Abernathy said.

wreaths/trees – Choose from red, gold and other color bows for your new wreath. And it may not be the Festival of Trees, but there will be decorated trees, mostly in the two- to four-foot range, but Bowler said there will be a few larger Christmas trees.

table & coat – handmade floral arrangements and table decorations; ETC, where an eclectic range of Christmas gift ideas abound; and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe – Well, that’s pretty easy; Everyone could use a little candy… or two…

gift vouchers from vendors and restaurants across town and a few from Wiscasset. “Everyone has been extremely generous,” McCarthy said. “Extremely.”

All sales are cash or check only.

All proceeds from this event support BRGC outreach: scholarships for graduate seniors studying environmental sciences; planting and maintenance of public gardens, particularly Armillar Garden and Memorial; Activities for residents of Gregory Wing and St. Andrews Village, scholarships for Camp Knickerbocker, planters for planters — and this time of year, wreaths — for city buildings.

St. Columba’s is located at 32 Emery Lane. There will be signs on the peninsula directing people to the church. There will be parking attendants (aka “elf” husbands) to escort Christmas shoppers into the church parking lot. Parking is prohibited along the track. And from November 20, masks will be recommended in church but not required.

For more information about the Garden Club, visit

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