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Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Artists’ Exchange in Cranston has announced that the 14th annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest will be held Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Artists’ Exchange, located at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston. There will be 20% off Class Registrations, Tasty Treats, Grab Bags, Free Face Painting, Raffles, Holiday Photo Stations, Artisan Craft Sales and Free Christmas Carol Previews.

The cost is $15 at the door. How does it work? Participants start with a simple graham cracker construction and craft it into a work of art. There are heaping supplies of frosting, cereal, pretzels and of course, an array of colorful candy to decorate your dream candy home. And with no age limit, everyone is invited to join in on the fun.

Participants can take their houses home that day, they are invited to submit their creations for judging in their corresponding age category. Families can also opt to work on a house together and be judged in a separate family category. This year there will be a special guest appearance from Santa Claus himself to help judge some of the entries. Houses entering the contest will be photographed and the winners will be announced online later that week.

Also included in the weekend’s festivities will be holiday grab bags, raffles, face painting, holiday photo booths and artwork from students and artist residents on display and for sale. For more information, contact the Artists’ Exchange at 490-9475.

Holiday Festival

Hosted by the Town of Johnston and Johnston Parks and Recreation Department, Santa Claus will arrive in Johnston Memorial Park on Dec. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. This is a free event. Have your picture taken with Santa Claus and enjoy food, music and refreshments and a bicycle raffle.

Toys for Tots at Thirsty Beaver

Ward 4 Councilman Ed Brady and Jacob Belt will host their fifth annual Toy Drive benefiting The Rhode Island Dream Center and The US Marines for Tots for Tots on Dec. 4. The community is welcome to attend and bring an unwrapped toy or toys and enjoy a festive night at The Thirsty Beaver Hometown Pub and Grub, located at 288 Atwood Ave. in Cranston, from 6 to 10 p.m.  Last year they collected approximately 5,000 toys in one evening. There will be a special visit from Mrs. Claus (be sure to bring your camera) and Marines in their dress blues. In lieu of a toy donation, they will also be accepting monetary donations at the door to purchase toys.

At the Mohr

On Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. please join Mohr Library and Carolyn Leone to create snazzy seasonal and special occasion gift tags. Adorned with a unique self-crafted tag, your gift will be one of a kind in the eyes of the grateful recipient. This creative paper workshop is free but please arrive with your own personal scissors and glue.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. join in at the Mohr Library for a special craft night.

Autumn is fading into the biting New England winter, pine needles and cones on Earth’s floor. Come into the library for warmth and a hot cup or two. Make a pinecone craft that surely will warm you to the core! There is no cost, but you must contact Reference for registration and more.

Ms. Ginine will kindly provide all materials, bric-a-brac and other embellishments to decorate and personalize your ‘made-with-love’ craft/gift.

To register for both events, call 231-4980 Press 6 at the menu.

Pet Photos with Santa to benefit Defenders of Animals

On Dec. 9, there will be a day of pet photos with Santa for $10 donation and Microchipping for a $25 donation – at Warwick Animal Hospital, 1950 Elmwood Ave., to benefit Defenders of Animals. A combination of photos and microchipping will also be available for $35 per pet. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Johnston Historical Society

Their museum barn is open Tuesdays from 9 to 11am and 6:30 to 8:30pm; Thursdays, 2 to5 p.m.; or by appointment, for those who would like to visit the museum or examine the society's collection of printed materials. Just in case, call ahead to confirm they are there.

Dues are $20 per year for an individual, $30 per year for a family (two adults and children under 18) membership. The purpose of the JHS is to identify, preserve and promote the history of our town. It is located at 101 Putnam Pike in Johnston and can be reached by calling 231-3380.

Their next meeting will be held on Jan. 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. It's so depressing to go out on a Wednesday night in January, so they decided to try a special Sunday daytime meeting. Society President Louis McGowan will give a presentation on the late George Sutcliffe, a Johnston resident who was a fighter pilot during World War II. Louis will read a detailed account of a dogfight that Sutcliffe was involved in, as well as show some artifacts related to Mr. Sutcliffe and his military career.

Historical Holidays in Cranston

All are invited to the Christmas Open Houses at the 1860's Governor Sprague Mansion and the 1770’s Joy Homestead in Cranston on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m.

At the Sprague Mansion at 1331 Cranston Street, guests will enjoy holiday decorations and music from the Victorian era along with cookies and the famous Sprague Punch and traditional Wassail. Andrew Kaplan, Rhode Island pianist, will perform musical selections on the mansion’s rare 1800s Concerta D Grand Steinway, and members of the Pawtuxet Rangers will make a special visit. The Western Cranston Garden Club decorates the Mansion in a spirited Victorian-theme each year.

At the Joy Homestead at 156 Scituate Ave., guests will be welcomed by Colonial-dressed hosts. Enjoy tea and cookies next to the homestead fireplace.

The annual open houses are hosted by the non-profit Cranston Historical Society which manages both museums.  There is no charge for admission, but donations for the ongoing preservation of these properties will be welcomed.

For more information please call Mary Mierka at 944-9226.

Book Sales

Members of the Friends plan and run book sales and carry out other fundraising activities to allow Mohr Library to increase services and programs. The Friends welcome new members who are willing to support either through donations, membership dues, or through volunteering their time. To find out more, contact them, or call the library director at 231-4980 (press 7).

There is an ongoing book sale in the lower level hall across from the meeting room. The Friends also hold larger sales two or three times a year. Great selections at great prices include hard cover and paperback books, fiction and non-fiction, for adults, children, and young adults. Most prices range from $.25 to $2. The Friends are a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, with proceeds from fundraising supporting library programs and services.

Donations of gently used books are appreciated and can be left at the library's main desk during library hours. Receipts for tax purposes are available.

Exciting programming for children at the Mohr Library

A Sing-Along with Mr. Rowland for all ages with a grown-up. Dance and sing along with family favorites and best loved holiday songs on and Dec. 11 at the Mohr Library.

On Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m., children will be able to build a catapult. Try building the different models of catapults to find which works best.

Drop-In Family Crafts will be held every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from now   through the end of June. This will feature several self-directed projects for children and parents to do together. (Craft Programs are not appropriate for children under 3 as small parts might present a hazard.)

The Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library, 1 Memorial Ave, Johnston, 231-4980 x5, www.mohrlibrary.org, email info @mohrlibrary.org.

At the Mohr for Teens

Teen Arts & Crafts Club will meet every Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m. Love arts & crafts? Join in each week to make something new and express yourself. We will paint, collage, draw, sculpt, and use paper, textiles, natural objects and recyclables to create all different works to take home. Each week make something new! 20 spaces available. Registration required; contact Emilie the YA Librarian to register Mohr.teen.librarian@gmail.com.

Teen Dungeons & Dragons Club will be held every Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Dungeons & Dragons for Teens is a cooperative role-playing game recently made famous in Stranger Things. Teens create their own characters & play out a story together. We will be beginning a new storyline called Storm King’s Thunder, where adventurers battle giants. Both new members and beginners welcome. 10 spaces available. Registration required; contact Emilie the YA Librarian to register Mohr.teen.librarian@gmail.com.

Teen Chess Club will meet every Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Mohr.  Join them for the classic strategy game Chess. Battle your friends or test your wits against the librarian! Don’t know how to play? No problem they can teach you! The rules are simple, the opportunities endless. Practice all your strategies here while relaxing away from the heat. 20 spaces available. Registration: contact Emilie the YA Librarian to register at Mohr.teen.librarian@gmail.com.

The Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library is located at 1 Memorial Ave., in Johnston and may be reached at 231-4980 x5 or www.mohrlibrary.org.

Free Yoga for breast cancer survivors

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation and Yoga at Studio Exhale offers yoga for breast cancer survivors every Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Yoga at Studio Exhale, 1263 Oaklawn Ave, Cranston is the place to be to explore slow flow, gentle movement to create space in the body and eliminate stress. This class is designed to restore the nervous system and help release deeply held tensions from the body and mind. Visit GloriaGemma.org for more details.

Did You Know?

The first artificial Christmas tree was made in Germany, fashioned out of goose feathers that were dyed green. (Source: December Fun Facts)

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