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Sep. 24, 2021 | Friday
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Grace Church's Festival Market includes mammoth book sale
Volunteers Norm and Donna Seymour sort through thousands of books at the last Festival Book Sale at Grace United Church. This year promises to have even more. (John Sayers photo)

John Sayers
Special to The Lake Report/Niagara Now

The final NOTL festival of every summer – the Festival Market at Grace United Church – will go on as planned this Saturday, Sept. 4, to relaunch a new round of NOTL church fairs.

It has been a sad summer for those who attend and enjoy Niagara-on-the-Lake's traditional church summer festivals in town. The Strawberry Festival, the Cherry Festival and the Peach Festival all succumbed to the restrictions caused by COVID. But rules have eased somewhat, and Grace is back.

While the attractions are traditional at Grace, the signage is pure COVID. Church council chair Pauline Miller has ensured that masks are required, distancing is a factor and indoor signage is in place to maintain direction of flow. Sanitizing is available and encouraged.

Outdoors are tables of the traditional jams, jellies and sauces that have made the fair famous, as well as home baking, and a mystery table (maybe even several tables!) of treasures that may be just the special find that you have always been looking for, but never realized.

Topping it all off is likely the largest book sale to have ever taken place in town, with over 5,000 books, many donated and languishing on hand since the pre-COVID era!

Co-chairs John Sayers and Marnie Taylor commented that we live in a highly literate town that has a wide range of reading interests. The boxes and boxes of fiction books on display are arranged alphabetically by author, since so many readers have favourite writers.

And the vast array of non-fiction books is sorted into categories that include, history (particularly Niagara area) and biography, two of the most popular topics.

In a separate section are special books that appeal to the collector or the reader looking for gems such as tomes signed by their favourite author.

At well below market price, these books are a magnet for book dealers who flock to the section in the hopes of later reselling at a healthy profit. Hey, collectors, why not buy here and avoid the profit markup of the online book dealers?

Everyone at Grace United hopes that rather than this being the last of the NOTL church fairs, it will launch a new succession of fairs which rise like a Phoenix into 2022 from the COVID ashes of 2021.

NOTL church fairs are back. See you at Grace United!

 

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