It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, all around the town.
That was the case Saturday when the Johnston High School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization transformed the cafeteria into a Winter Wonderland, courtesy of eight extraordinary elves, for its ninth Annual Holly Fair.
The PTSO’s efficient elves – Lisa Calabro, Karen LaFlamme, Jennifer Irons, Stephanie Toblin, Dawn Burke, Deb McHale, Nikki Cahill and Melissa Patrone – organized the best pre-holiday shopping spree since the school support group began its tradition nearly a decades ago.
The Holly Fair’s outstanding reputation has reached far and wide, as a record 60 vendors purchased space to sell their wares that ranged from Dina’s Dazzling Designs to Luminary Bottle Creations to Larry’s Custom Pipe Lamps to specialty signs to jewelry and food.
If someone wanted home baked goods, the Johnston High class of 2020 had many interesting items that seniors like Sarah Valentine, Michaela Healy, Jenni Aubin, Mia Ragosta, Allison Kane and Chris Flanagan had a hand in making from scratch.
If a patron wanted jewelry – or various kinds of apparel – the Holly Fair had a several vendors that included local members of the community and even classic crafters who, because of the demand for space, were set up in the high school’s first-floor corridor.
The day’s unofficial Largest Space Award went to the class of 2023, which occupied the entrance to the school’s auditorium with the Holly Fair’s special guest, Santa Claus – as portrayed by Tyler Collins.
Nearly 350 shoppers came through the doors to peruse what the Holly Fair had to offer.
“The foot traffic was non-stop throughout the day,” Patrone said. “As soon as people arrived, they received a Holly Jolly Shopping Card, and the purpose was two-fold. The shoppers visited vendors they had their card marked, and if those marks added up to 95 percent, the shopper became eligible for a special door prize.”
The card, she emphasized, worked wonders and helped track the number of shoppers and to make sure each and every vendor had hit or her share of the day’s business.
“As many of the vendors were packing up to leave, many of them talked to our committee members to thank us for their day’s success and requested we keep them in mind for next year,” Patrone said. “This was a huge success and special shout out goes to our students, who all had high energy and spirit throughout the day.” 1
Members of the Johnston High School class of 2023 were all decked out in holiday garb to welcome Tyler Collins as Santa Claus. His helpers are, in front from left, Talia LaFlamme, Josephine Olagundoye and Jacob Muller; and top from left, Jackson Troxell, Hannah Calabro, Michelina King, Gianna Brodeur, Emily Feinstein and Joshua Galeas. (Sun Rise photos by Pete Fontaine) 2
Students from the class of 2020 set up a special baked goods sale during Saturday’s Holly Fair. The included Sarah Valentine, Michaela Healy, Jenni Aubin, Mia Ragosta, Allison Kane and Chris Flanagan. 3
DINA’S DAZZLING DESIGNS:
Dina and Kim Audette had quite the collection of specially made Christmas wreaths and decorations during Saturday’s Holly Fair. 4
The organizers of the best Holly Fair in the event’s nine year history are, from left, Lisa Calabro, Karen LaFlamme, Jennifer Irons, Stephanie Toblin, Dawn Burke, Melissa Patrone, Deb McHale and Nikki Cahill. 5
Debra and Rebecca stand behind the handmade luminary lights they make from scratch using various bottles.