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47th Annual Franklin Newcomers Craft Fair is Nov. 5th

After a couple of years, Franklin Newcomers & Friends Craft Fair is back, taking place at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School on November 5th. This year, the event will take place in the gym.

By Judith Dorato O’Gara
It’s back! The Annual Franklin Newcomers & Friends Craft Fair will once again take place this fall at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, 147 Pond St., Franklin, on November 5, 2022, from 9 am to 3 pm. The event, the group’s largest fundraiser, will be the organization’s 47th, with a couple of years off during the height of the pandemic. The craft fair will take place in Tri-County’s gym.
“We are so happy that many of our crafters who have participated every year in the past are back again this year,” says Terri Attinello, President of the Newcomers group, who explains that crafters are chosen by a jury process and all items sold must be handmade to enter the fair. She adds, “We have a range of unique items, from jewelry, home décor, holiday décor, hand knit, sewn, and embroidered items, soaps, and food. About half are new, and half are returning crafters.”
Franklin Newcomers & Friends began in 1971 by Fran Kober. She moved to Franklin from New Jer sey and was very disappointed to learn there was no Newcomers Club in town, so she placed an ad in the paper to meet other new residents to the town. She received five replies, and the next ad she placed encouraged new people to come meet and socialize. Twenty people responded, and the Franklin Newcomers & Friends group was born.
Membership is $25 per year and is open to Franklin residents as well as those living in adjacent towns that don’t have a similar club. Meetings are held at Escape into Fiction, the new bookstore in downtown Franklin, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month September through May.

Members organize events such as Couples Socials, Monthly Dinner Groups, Ladies Night Out, Children’s Activities, Movie Nights, Craft Nights and much more.  
“Recently we’ve gone to a concert at the Circle of Friends, out to dinner, out for muffins on a Saturday morning, and a labyrinth walk under a full moon. Later this month we are planning to see a play. We will have a group running/walking the Franklin Turkey Trot, and plan to see performances at Dean College and the Black Box,” says Attinello.
The scope of the club has broadened to include community service as an integral part of member activity. Proceeds from the Newcomers’ Craft Fair not only fund club events and outings, but the club has volunterred as a group annually donates thousands of dollars to local Franklin organizations.
“Organizations are nominated by our membership, and the amounts distributed are based on the members voting for their top choices,” says Attinello. “In 2020, we donated to a small number of causes – that was a bit different due to COVID. About half of our donations went to the Franklin Food Pantry. The remainder went to FISH of Franklin, Random Smile, MA Fund for COVID-19, and the YMCA Emergency Response Fund.” In 2019, the club donated to 14 different organizations, including Finding You Sanctuary, FISH of Franklin, Franklin/Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, Franklin Downtown Partnership, Franklin Education Foundation, Franklin Food Pantry, Franklin July 4th Coalition, Franklin Performing Arts Company, Franklin Public Schools Activity Fund, Friends of the Franklin Library, Neighbor Brigade, Random Smile Project, Santa Foundation, and YMCA’s Reach Out for Youth (ROFY).
“We will again be donating to organizations important to our membership in the spring now that we are able to fund the donations with proceeds from our craft fair,” says Attinello. In fact, the Franklin Newcomers & Friends will also be accepting donations for the Franklin Food Pantry at this year’s event.
The entry fee to the Franklin Newcomers & Friend Craft Fair on November 5th is $3 for people 12 years of age and older. Find more details on the craft fair on Facebook @FranklinNewcomersCraftFair.  For more information about the club and its latest list of upcoming events, visit its Meetup Page, Franklin Newcomers & Friends (Franklin, MA) | Meetup, their Facebook page: @FranklinNewcomersFriends Club, or their website at .