Christmas at the Brook: Tradition continues Nov. 17 at Brookside Congregational Church

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Anderson Brock of Manchester gets his face painted at Brookside Church Craft Fair . Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – Put down your phones, grab your kids and leave their tablets at home because it’s time to come explore one-of-kind, handmade treasures and enjoy a festive and fun day by taking part in the time-honored tradition of the New England Craft Fair- Christmas at the Brook.  The fair will be held on November 17, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brookside Congregational Church located at 2013 Elm St. in Manchester’s North End. 

Research has shown that crafting, cooking, and even gardening can promote a more positive mental and physical wellbeing through creativity, relaxation and a sense of accomplishment.  

“Give ‘Alexa’ the day off and take a break from the digital demands in your life to enjoy a relaxing day celebrating crafts, handmade goods and homemade food,” said Becky Boisvert, Co-Chair of Christmas at the Brook.  “In addition to having a fun and relaxing day at the fair, you can also feel good knowing that attending the fair helps support the Manchester community outreach of Brookside Church. So, come out and express yourself, reduce your stress and enjoy a wonderful day at the craft fair.”

Christmas at the Brook will present more than 45 vendors featuring New Hampshire-made jewelry artisans, cards, books by local authors, quilts, handmade soaps, balms and lotions; painted glassware, alpaca wool scarves, hand-knit mittens and hats, prints, photography, American girl doll clothes, fairy houses, wreaths, wagon-wheel rugs, ornaments, bags and purses, hot sauces, chocolates, dog treats, pet toys, and so much more. 

Fair goers and Brookside Church volunteers enjoying the 2017 Christmas at the Brook. Courtesy Photo

In addition to shopping, fair-goers can fill a container with their favorite varieties of fresh baked cookies in the Cookie Walk.  Baked goods will be available for sale all day including Brookside’s sought-after apple and pecan pies, quick breads, brownies, and many other delicious sweet and savory items. Gluten free options are also available.

“This year, the fair falls on the weekend before Thanksgiving,” added Becky Boisvert, Co-Chair of Christmas at the Brook.   “It’s a great opportunity to grab a frozen pie to bake off at your family Thanksgiving, grab a thoughtful hostess gift, or just get a jump on your holiday shopping.”

Lunch will feature soul-warming bowls of soup or chili served with fresh bread. Vegetarian options and take out containers will also be available all day. 

Various entertainment along with Santa Claus can be enjoyed throughout the day and face painting and other crafts will be a highlight for kids.

Two-dollar admission to the fair buys visitors their first raffle tickets for chances to win a cash door prize and some of the most impressive raffle baskets of the season.  

The Brookside Thrift Shop will be open during fair hours and will have a special Christmas at the Brook sale. Fair entry includes a coupon to be used at the thrift shop for that day. The shop is loaded with Christmas merchandise as well as the regular offering of clothing, books, toys and variety of treasures.

Proceeds from the fair benefit the Brookside Congregational Church. More information is available at:

About Brookside Congregational Church

Brookside is an open and affirming congregation, embracing diversity and affirming the dignity and worth of every person. The church invites everyone to join in the common life and mission of reconciling community through participation and leadership in its congregation, and by fully sharing in the worship, rites and sacraments of the church. Brookside Congregational Church is a member of the United Church of Christ, the Hillsborough Association, the NH Conference, and United Church of Christ. For more information please visit

Community Outreach

Brookside Congregational Church has a tremendous impact on the Greater Manchester community as it provides not only a place of Sunday worship for parishioners, but it also provides a common location for numerous local nonprofits and community organizations to gather on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  The mission of Brookside is community-focused.  In keeping with its mission, the Church is utilized by over 30 organizations in the Manchester area.  The groups that use the Brookside buildings include support groups for alcoholics, overeaters, girl scouts, grief counseling, a community garden for refugee immigrants and neighbors of Brookside, and various other services including a parish nursing program and local theater group.  In addition, two small congregations meet weekly in Brookside’s chapel and the Church is also home to Pastoral Counseling Services and a thrift shop that caters to the community.