True, it’ll raise a little money, maybe more than a little depending on the weather. But really, says The Siskiyou School’s director of development Katie LaCroix, the annual WinterFaire is much more than a fundraiser.
“It is a fundraiser,” she said, “but the primary goal is for the community to come to this event. It’s a family friendly, old fashioned, and offers a way for families to get together for a holiday tradition. And it really is an outreach event, a great experience for children and parents that is warm and inviting and memorable.”
A cross between a fair and a holiday festival, the WinterFaire will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at The Siskiyou School (631 Clay St.), with activities and games set up both outside and inside the school building. Admission is free, but visitors must pay for activities with tickets, which cost $1 apiece. There is no parking on campus, but those who drive to the site will find plenty of spots within a 5- to 10-minute walk from the school.
The Siskiyou School, a Waldorf school which serves 180 first- through eighth-graders, has hosted WinterFaire for about 10 of its some 40-year history, LaCroix said, and this year’s version will include the usual mix of entertainment. The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and no rain Saturday, which is good news for families planning on attending WinterFaire — besides the craft and activity booths, there will be four food stands or trucks, more than 25 local gift vendors and live music from beginning to end courtesy of six local acts. Based on past WinterFaire's, about 1,200 people are expected to attend.
LaCroix, who moved to Ashland in 2010 and became The Siskiyou School’s director of development a year later, said there’s something for everybody before ticking off a long list to prove her point. It included:
• Beeswax candle dipping (cost four tickets) — patrons can make their own candle out of golden yellow lead-free beeswax.
• Crystal cookie room (one ticket) — a room decorated to resemble a magical winter wonderland where kids can choose a cookie from the crystal landscape.
• Gingerbread house (two tickets) — here, youngsters can choose a gift from a selection of items and have it wrapped. The intention is to give kids an opportunity to buy gifts for family or friends.
• Wreath-making (20-30 tickets) — visitors can make their own wreath from fresh greens and adornments, or buy one that’s already been made.
• Sleeping giant (two tickets) — a fan favorite, according to LaCroix, where kids who are brave enough can attempt to swipe a golden egg or amulet from the giant’s bedroom as he snoozes.
Other activities include a blacksmith shop where patrons can make a hook, a dragon catapult, face painting, henna tattoos and a marionette show.
LaCroix said 75 to 100 volunteers, including student parents and alumni, will be on hand to help keep WinterFaire running smoothly, but she could use more. Those willing to lend a hand Saturday can call her at 541-482-8223 (ext. 38).
“Honestly I don’t have a goal,” LaCroix said when asked about the fundraising goal. “I know how much we’ve raised in the past and I’d like to raise money because we’re having this event anyway, but that’s actually not the point and I often will tell the volunteers I’m working with that we’re not going to make adjustments just to raise money. The experience of the event is the most important thing.”
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.