Come to the Grange at the fair to eat shortcake, watch handcrafts being made, and buy plants

To the Editor:
As we get ready for the Altamont Fair, from Tuesday, Aug. 16, through Sunday, Aug. 21, there will be lots of things going on in the Grange Building, located between the 4-H Building, and the Culinary Building.

We'll have freshly demonstrated and baked goods every day, starting with strawberry shortcake on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Wednesday, Aug. 17, will be peach shortcake. Thursday, Aug. 18, will be cinnamon buns, including gluten-free cinnamon buns. Assorted pies will be served on Friday, Aug. 19. Strawberry shortcake will return on Saturday, Aug. 20, and homemade cookies will be offered on Sunday Aug. 21.

Besides being able to watch the baking demonstrations daily, you will also have the opportunity to purchase some and enjoy them with your coffee or milk in our Grange Building.

There will also be booths from each Subordinate Grange and each Junior Grange, and each Pomona (County) Grange. These booths are always very interesting and educational in a fun way. These are never boring to see. Every Grange designs its own booth, and they’re all judged for creativity, educational value, and so much more.

Each day, there will be a craft being demonstrated by different Grangers. Many of these crafts are often from years ago, and possibly forgotten by many.

Two days will have a special request made every year: Two Grangers will be demonstrating kitchen and farm items from years ago on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Many are unknown to most of the fair-goers.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, a special long-forgotten craft of making a crocheted rug from socks will be demonstrated. You can learn how to vary the shape of the rug as you’re crocheting it.

On Thursday, Aug. 18, sewing a quilt block will be demonstrated and on Friday there will be a demonstration of miniature steam engines. There will be more demonstrations, but they have not been announced at publication time.

Home-grown plants will be for sale at the Grange Building, from Bethlehem Grange 137 and there will be “Secret Pal Gifts.” There will also be lots of homemade items: kitchen towels that can be hung on your stove or refrigerator door, our specially requested “scrubbies,” and a great variety of items.

Be sure to check out the variety of homemade items in our Grange Building. You will also have the opportunity to see some of the items being handcrafted while you’re there.

This is also a great place to start your holiday and birthday shopping. There will also be some crocheted baby items from Bethlehem Grange 137.

There may be fresh produce available, depending on everyone’s garden this year. This is always dependent on the growing season and weather. Lots of rain that we’ve been having may have helped some items and ruined some others. Keep in mind that July is  usually our best growing month, and this past July we made the record books for the most rain in many years.

Make sure to stop by the Bethlehem Grange 137 booth for more information on becoming a member of the Grange. There will be applications for all age groups: Juniors, 5 to 14 years old; Youth, 15 to 35; and Subordinate Grange members 15 to 105 years old.

There are lots of benefits to becoming a Grange member, plus savings for you as you shop online. We will also have our Event Card, listing all of the remaining dinners, our September Chicken and Pulled Pork Barbecue, and projects on the 2022 Calendar. 

As a chapter of Stars4ourTroops, we will have stars available for first responders, health-care workers, veterans, and more. We will also be able to accept your worn or tattered flag at our booth.

We also accept pull tabs from soda, beer cans, soup cans, and pet food. Bring your pull tabs with you and deposit them in our container for the local Ronald McDonald House.

Bethlehem Grange 137 also accepts your old eyeglasses and hearing aids for the Lions organization, where they’re able to distribute them to people that otherwise would not be able to obtain them. We’ll have our Lions organization box to accept your old eyeglasses and hearing aids.

We're also a food pantry that supports five neighboring food pantries, and we can accept nonperishable items only. If you’d like to drop off items, we’ll gladly accept them at the Bethlehem Grange 137 booth. 

Bethlehem Grange 137 is also getting ready in one-and-a-half years to celebrate our 150th birthday, in our historic building, which is on the NationalRegister of Historic Sites.

Bethlehem Grange 137 is looking for puzzles, specifically on agricultural or farming topics. Feel free to bring your puzzles to the Altamont Fair Grange Building to be donated to Bethlehem Grange 137. Please ask for me, Carol Carpenter, to donate any puzzles, eyeglasses, hearing aids, worn or tattered flags, pull tabs, or food-pantry items.

Bethlehem Grange 137 is accessible to people who use wheelchairs as it has two ramps to accommodate our take-out dinners, garage sales, craft fairs, and rentals of our hall for private parties. The second ramp was added during COVID-19 to make us COVID-19 compliant for entry and exit of our building.  We also host a couple of local Girl Scout troops and their leadership meetings in our Bethlehem Grange 137 building.

Carol Carpenter


Bethlehem Grange 137

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