Monroe celebrates Christmas with fairs, a wreath sale, tree lightings

Two young customers do their holiday shopping at the Monroe Historical Society's Christmas Fair Saturday.

MONROE, CT —  Arianna Bruno walked out of the historic Meeting House on Barn Hill Road with a box containing a snowman holding a globe after shopping at the Monroe Historical Society’s Christmas Fair Saturday morning.

“It looks like it’s from the ’70s,” she said. “My three-year-old daughter wanted a blowup thing outside, but hopefully she’ll like this.”

Arianna Bruno bought a gift for her daughter at the Monroe Historical Society Christmas Fair, held at the Meeting House on Barn Hill Road Saturday morning.

Bruno bought the snowman decoration at the bargain price of five dollars.

Monroe residents had ample opportunities to do their holiday shopping in town Saturday. In addition to the Historical Society’s event, the Harmony Grange and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church had Christmas fairs.

Among the merchandise at St. Peter’s, were jewelry and knit booties, sweaters, hats and mittens for infants, handmade by Marlou Wagner, of Derby, owner of ML Designs. Wagner honed her technique as a member of the Soundview Knitting Guild in Trumbull and used to teach the skill at Janet Kemp’s Fine Yarns in Stratford.

“I create my own designs,” Wagner said. “I don’t follow a pattern.”

A Hugs and Kisses cardigan has cable with X’s and O’s woven into the design. A Grow With Me sweater is for 0 to 18 months. Wagner said it has long sleeves that later become three-quarter sleeves and a chest that grows with the child.

Marlou Wagner, of Derby, owner of ML Designs, sells hand-made jewelry and baby clothing during St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s Christmas Fair Saturday.

Angel Wings, a yellow sweater, had an angel knitted into the back. “It’s good for Christenings,” Wagner said.

Boy Scouts from Troop 203 sold Christmas wreathes in front of the Monroe Volunteer Fire Co.’s firehouse at the corner of Route 110 and Moose Hill Road. Earlier in the day the Monroe Lions Club donated and hung wreathes at Town Hall and Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in keeping with its annual tradition.

In the evening, the Monroe Women’s Club’s annual Tree Lighting Attracted a crowd that blanketed the green with the gazebo in front of Town Hall.

This year’s event featured the Harmony Sound Chorus from Trumbull, as well as Christmas music performed by the Jockey Hollow Middle School Chorus and the Masuk High School Band.

Monroe firefighters gave Santa Claus a ride to the tree lighting in one of their fire engines, giving the children another chance to see St. Nick before he would bring gifts to their homes on Christmas Eve.

Boy Scouts from Troop 203 sell Christmas wreathes in front of the firehouse on Shelton Road Saturday.

First Selectman Ken Kellogg, who spoke at both the Monroe Women’s Club and the Save Our Stepney Task Force tree lightings, talked about the freedom of religion the country enjoys and, after a year when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented social gatherings, he expressed gratitude over families and friends being able to come together to celebrate the holidays this year.

“This year, hopefully you’re able to spend time with family that maybe you couldn’t last year,” Kellogg said at the MWC event. “Family is such an important thing. It’s such an important part of the fabric of Monroe. We’re such a family town.”

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