Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 16, 2018
‘Junque for Jesus’ draws bargain hunters to Blue Hill Fairgrounds
Annual St. Francis Fair raises over $36,000
St. Francis Fair shoppers browse the popular jewelry tables on August 11 at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds.
by Anne Berleant
The St. Francis Fair, otherwise known as the biggest yard sale on the peninsula, opened the gates at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds August 11 to streams of shoppers in search of bargains.
Browsers quickly became buyers, as people found furniture, appliances, jewelry, children’s toys, linens, sporting goods and much, much more. Two men walked through the fairgrounds clutching stereo receivers and speakers to their chests. A woman exited Granny’s Attic bearing a large, plush unicorn.
“I found my treasure,” Madison Brown said, baby Morrigan strapped to her chest, while she and a friend helped carry an antique trunk from the furniture tent.
This year the fair raised over $36,000, before expenses, the largest amount ever raised.
“It just got better all day long,” said Judy Rountree, one of the many volunteers.
St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church partnered with the SPCA of Hancock County for the 2018 fair for the second year running, sharing the proceeds with the Trenton-based animal shelter. In 2017, the shelter received about $9,000 from that year’s fair proceeds, SPCA Director Diana Delossantos said. Shelter staff and volunteers offered sno-cones for hot shoppers and helped clean up after the fair.
Among the 70 tables and thousands of items stood six new bikes and helmets, made possible by a donation from an anonymous summer parishioner. Three had already been given to a family in need the night before.
“Some of the goals of the fair are to build community and I think those goals were met,” Fair Chairman Mary Hartley said.
Over at the Junque for Jesus area, with its tables upon household goods and furniture, volunteer Kate Reuter put it quite simply: “It’s the big event of the season.”