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48th Annual Franklin Newcomers Craft Fair is Nov. 18th

By Judith Dorato O’Gara
The Annual Franklin Newcomers & Friends Craft Fair is back to its original location at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, 147 Pond St., Franklin, on November 18, 2023, from 9 am to 3 pm. The event, the group’s largest fundraiser, will be the organization’s 48th.
“We’re excited to be back in our original space and to have a great event,” says Franklin Newcomers Craft Fair chair Terri Attinello. “Everything is hand-made, and we require crafters to show photographs of them making things as well as the person making them to be there. So, people can talk to the person who’s making (the item). It’s more personal.”
The unique gifts items include jewelry, home and holiday décor, hand-knit, sewn, and embroidered items, soaps, and food, and they’re just in time for the holidays. Admission is $3 for anyone 12 and older, and the group will also be accepting donations of nonperishable food items for Franklin Food Pantry.
For updated details on the Newcomers’ Craft Fair, visit the craft fair’s dedicated Facebook page @FranklinNewcomersCraftFair.

Franklin Newcomers & Friends began in 1971 by Fran Kober. She moved to Franklin from New Jersey 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.
“Members organize a variety of things,” says Attinello. “We’ve met for coffee and muffins, have gone to plays. They’re events anyone can come to.”
Community service is also an integral aspect of the club. Proceeds from the Newcomers’ Craft Fair funds donations to local Franklin organizations as well as club events and outings.
“We have a bake table and raffle table supporting the club,” says Attinello. “Admission plus other profit goes toward our charitable donations, voted on by membership.” This past year, she says, members directed those funds toward the Random Smile Project, Franklin Food Pantry, the 4th of July Coalition, The Santa Foundation, Fish of Franklin, and the SAFE Coalition, among others.

Membership is open to Franklin residents as well as those living in adjacent towns that don’t have a similar club. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Escape Into Fiction, at 12 Main Street in downtown Franklin. Light refreshments are served. Although meetings will now be held bi-monthly, activities are still scheduled throughout its membership year October to April.  Members can check out the group’s private Meetup page (Franklin Newcomers & Friends (Franklin, MA) | Meetup) or public Facebook page (Franklin Newcomers & Friends Club ) for up-to-date meeting details.