Community Spotlight: the Holiday Shindy at Shire City Sanctuary
The holidays provide so much to look forward to: time to spend with friends and family, special seasonal food and drink, and the traditions that offer us comfort. For the past 12 years, here in Pittsfield MA, the Holiday Shindy has been a convergence of everything we love about the season, and one of the most highly anticipated local events of the year
Shire City Sanctuary, home of the Holiday Shindy, stands as a creative repurposing of the historical Notre Dame church built downtown in 1895. Now the building enjoys a second life as a unique makerspace offering the community opportunities for creation in its sewing lab, screen print shop, commercial kitchen, and technology lab. The impressive 5000-square-foot church nave also becomes a majestic setting for spirited dance parties, art shows, and community gatherings. Every December, however, the space is transformed into a festive and highly popular 2-day showcase of over 60 of the area’s brightest crafters.
As you wind your way through the aisles, you’re greeted by the smell of fragrant wreaths, ornately crafted beeswax candles, artisanal cheeses, fresh bread, and warm pastries. It is a pure sensory delight to hold expertly crafted goods, from hand-felted toys and woolen wearables, to leather aprons and iron housewares. And it’s nearly impossible to walk past the exquisite hand-carved wooden spoons and lathe-turned wooden bowls, gorgeous glazed ceramics, and hand-printed linen tea towels without thinking of at least seven people on your gift list deserving of such treasures.
It was among these treasures and delights that Fire Cider made its first public appearance, back on December 3, 2010 when Amy and Dana introduced their apple cider vinegar and honey tonic to their community.
In the heart of Berkshire County, Shire City Sanctuary holds a unique position as a player in the Creative Economy. In their success and continued work to create a festive place for makers to meet the community, they have made a home for many
Join in the merriment, and visit us at the Holiday Shindy on Dec. 8 & 9, 2018!
photo: Eric Korenman Photography