Formal fundraising at First Parish occurs as two major events: the Clam Festival in July and the Christmas Fair in December. Both involve multiday efforts that require a tremendous amount of preparation and participation, but also provide enormous rewards for those who are involved. They are truly a way to get to know the people who sit next to you in the pews, to feel the spirit and energy of First Parish, and to do something wonderful for the community. Participation is open to all.

[learn_more caption=”Clam Festival – 3rd Weekend in July”] Each year in July, the entire town of Yarmouth turns out for the Clam Festival, which is known throughout the state and even across the country as one of the premier Maine summer events. Given our location on Main Street, First Parish is well situated to be part of the festivities.

For the three days of the festival, we sell used books and white elephant items, and we serve all kinds of food, including pancake breakfasts, lobster and crabmeat lunches, strawberry shortcakes, and PIES. We have a wide reputation for our pies, and we make them by the dozens. Well before the festival starts, volunteer bakers are busy making and freezing pies. Others are collecting and storing items for the white elephant sale.

Days before the festival, many hands are needed to set up structures and move items from storage out onto the lawn and across the street where the white elephant sale takes place. During the festival itself, we need dozens of volunteers to put together the sandwiches and other food items being sold and to staff the booths. After the festival is over, people are needed to break down structures and move unsold items back into the church for storage.

The Clam Festival is our biggest and best fundraiser. While all agree that it is a lot of work, being a part of this effort will give you a sense of community spirit like no other. For more information, listen for announcements and sign-up sheets in June, or contact the Clam Festival ministry leaders through the church office at 846-3773. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Christmas Fair -1st Saturday in December”] The Christmas Fair is our second largest fundraiser and occurs in early December. During the year, the knitters have been knitting (see Social Fellowship — Knitters) and the crafters have been crafting (see Social Fellowship – Crafters) to make items for the Christmas Fair.

In the weeks before the fair, we ask everyone to identify items at home, such as old Christmas decorations, kitchen items, paintings, and attic treasures, that can be sold at the fair or put in the silent auction. We need volunteers to bake cookies for the cookie walk and other goodies to sell at the baked goods table. Volunteers are needed to gather at the church just before the fair to make and decorate wreaths and boxwood trees. It starts to look and smell like Christmas at First Parish. We need help setting up for the fair and taking down afterward. On the day of the fair we need volunteers to welcome guests, staff the booths and serve the luncheon of sandwiches, fish chowder, and mac and cheese. We need help cleaning up the kitchen.

The community loves our Christmas fair and, with your help, we can make it a yearly success. For more information, listen for announcements and sign-up sheets in November, or contact the Christmas Fair ministry leaders through the church office at 846-3773. [/learn_more]