The Friends of the Easton Public Library are again inviting everyone in town to join them for an afternoon of fun, food, and merriment at the Library next Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4 from 2:30-6 p.m. Friends’ organizers have been busy lining up wonderful local artisan, arranging for Santa and Ms. Claus to visit, and being sure the Barlow Singers are available.

It’s going to be a great time!

New York City may have its Rockefeller Center tree, but Easton, as the Christmas Tree Capital of Connecticut, has plenty of its own wonderful trees for the holidays. One notable for its lights and center-of-town location is the library’s own tall spruce at the corner of Morehouse and Center streets. First Selectman David Bindelglass will be doing the honors of lighting the tree at 5:15 PM.

Kelly Byrne Skarupa is one of the lead organizers of this event, and she reports that there’ll be a full afternoon of browsing, shopping, and gathering together. “Between the shopping, kids craft table, visitors from the North Pole, singing, caroling, tree lighting and some hot cocoa and cookies, we hope to get the Easton community out to enjoy this festive time of year together,” she shares. “Plus,” she adds, “we have a mix of returning market vendors from last year and new participants to add to our lineup. This is a wonderful opportunity to get some holiday shopping done and support local artisans.”

Adds Beth Cliff, current President of the Friends who is known to moonlight as Ms. Claus: “Seeing everyone come together enjoying the joy of the season as families and friends, newcomers and old-timers, young and old: it just melts your heart. It’s so wonderful to be part of this tradition in Easton!”

Showcasing local artisans. Skarupa reports 17 vendors this year who will be in the Community Room. The assortment guarantees there’ll be something for everyone: Greeting cards and seasonable decor; bowls and candlesticks; alpaca products; jewelry and painted Easton scenes; postcards and prints; Argentinian home decor; soaps and lip balm; handblown glass; bracelets; cooked food to take home; pet coats and sweaters; ceramics; wool felt handbags and wallets; Charlie Brown trees; terrariums; personalized frosted cookies; zipper pouches and purses; and 06612 candles and library ornaments.

It’s a wonderful way to get ready for gift-giving, while also supporting local artisans who share their gifts and talents with the town. And the Friends are grateful to New Country Toyota of Westport for helping out: Santa and Ms Claus will arrive in style!

Plus activities and singing for kids
. Shopping can be fun, but so are visits from Santa and Ms. Claus – they’ll be all ears, listening for what kids’ hope to get this Christmas. There’ll be an arts and craft table to keep little hands busy (thank you Phyllis Machledt and team!) and plenty of hot cocoa and cookies to keep bellies full. This year folks will be gathering inside the library so there’ll be no weather concerns of extreme cold or unwelcome rain, sleet or snow. Also new this year, Ms. Claus will lead an informal holiday song sing-a-long at 4:30; she’ll then turn it over to the Barlow Chamber Singers who will showcase what beautiful a cappella music really sounds like! And then, the lighting of the tree, probably around 5:15 PM.

Who are the Friends? The Friends of the Library are a group of folks who come together to provide additional financial support for the library, supplementing their approved budget from the town to do extra offerings otherwise unaffordable. In so doing they have fun together, and feel good knowing they’ve contributed to supporting a huge asset to all its residents: the Easton Public Library. In prior years, the Friends have purchased Museum passes so families can go to local museums for free; helped support the summer reading program and the One Book One Town program; and, perhaps most notably, underwritten the refurbishment of the patio at the library to provide additional meeting and gathering space for the town and library patrons.

Friends’ events provide town engagement. Events like the June Wine and Cheese hosted the last two years at Sport Hill Farm; the Used Book Sale the first weekend in October; this Holiday Market the first Sunday in December; and Library Giving Day, the first Wednesday in April, are ways the Friends have brought the community together in the past few years, while raising thousands of dollars. Ideas for old and new programming – large and small – are most welcome! Let them know thoughts you have at The Friends are not affiliated with any school, religious, political, age or other demographic attribute: it is truly a group that provides opportunities for everyone to come together with one thing in common: being a resident, wanting to have some fun, and supporting our jewel of a library.

Become a Friend: volunteer, or support through membership. The Friends invite folks to go to their website; to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and to sign up as a volunteer – even an hour or two here and there can be very useful for everyone! And becoming a Member is also a quick way to support the library. Volunteer and membership sign up is on the website, or you can contact us at, or contact the team leaders of the Friends this year including Beth Cliff, Kelly Byrne Skarupa, Phyllis Machledt; Ann Denton; George Hajek; Patti Romaniello, Jennifer Alves, and Christine Lee: all will be happy to answer questions. Folks can also sign up to be on the mailing list by going to

We hope to see you next week!

Photos by Rick Falco

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By Beth Cliff

President of the Friends of the Easton Public Library