Festival Planning & Volunteering

Festivals are an integral part of life here at Hawthorne Valley. The school hosts two festivals annually: the Spring Fair & May Day celebration, and the Yuletide Fair in early December. To learn more about these festivals, please visit the links. This page is dedicated to information for parents about organizing and volunteering for these two important school-based events.


Yuletide Fair

The Yuletide Fair is the school’s largest festival and takes place each winter, this year it will be held on Saturday, December 3rd. The fair engages everyone in the community – kids, teachers, parents, extended family members & friends!  It is a magical event and one of the greatest opportunities to express our individual talents and to experience the strength and unique beauty of our community. The fair also contributes significantly to the school’s fundraising efforts. Much preparation, planning and crafting goes into making the fair an outstanding event for everyone!

This year’s Community Crafting schedule is as follows:

Fri, Sept 23,  4–6 pm at Camphill (CH) Ghent “Crafting with acorns”

Sun, Oct. 2,  4–6 pm  at CH Ghent “Sewing and Handwork projects”

Sun, Oct. 16,  4-6 pm  at CH Ghent “Sewing and Handwork projects”

Fri, Oct. 21,  3:30 pm Teaching Kitchen at HVWS “Felting”

Fri, Nov. 18,  3-5 pm at VSP Dining Hall, behind farmstore “chocolate treats”

Tue, Nov. 29,  8:15 am Teaching kitchen “wreath decorating”

Contact Gisela (392-1014) if you would like to make crafts independently, we ask that crafts are made from natural materials when possible.

*There will also be community woodworking opportunities, details coming soon.

**Camphill Ghent’s address: 2542 Route 66, Chatham, NY 12037

The farmhouse is located on your right after you enter Camphill. Children are welcome to participate in crafting.

Gnomes are looking for helpers!

Woodworking with the Gnomes begins on Wednesday, September 28, at 6:30 pm in the practical arts building. This will be the on-going day/time but sometimes it has to shift due to schedules, so please confirm with Dominic Wolff (518-610-0950) if you would like to join in.

No experience necessary, just bring a fun loving attitude and we’ll make sure the rest works out. We are also looking for lumber donations to help with our endeavors. If you’re interested, or just want more information, contact Dominic (see above).

Yuletide Fair Class Champions & Fair Activities 2016

Class Activities:

 Kindergarten: “TINY TREASURES” Small children love the Tiny Treasures room located in the Rose Kindergarten Classroom, where they can find many delightful handmade surprises. Parents of the Peach Blossom, Rose and Morning Star rooms take home kits of simple crafts to complete at home. Tiny Treasure project bags will be made available in the Kindergarten. (Contact: Christy Field, Walli Zay)

First Grade: “SCHOOL DECORATION” This involves transforming the school to create the enchanted winter mood and feel of the Yuletide Fair. Parents gather materials and spend time decorating all parts of the school and hanging up signs several days prior to the event. (Contact Bruna De Araujo)

Second Grade: “GINGERBREAD AUCTION” is organized & run by the parents of this class as community members contribute their gingerbread creations. This takes place in the School Hall next to the Teaching Kitchen. Decorating of the building entrance will also be done. (Contact: Jeff Shea, Jason Duffy)

Third Grade: “POCKET PERSON” roams around the Fair Campus in a lavish cape filled with pockets of handmade items waiting to be chosen by expectant people of all ages. Parents are responsible for making little toys and filling shifts as the pocket person. (Contact: Kim Ladd)

Fourth Grade: “CHILDREN’S CRAFT ROOM” The Music Room in the main school building is transformed into a crafting room for kids where they make creations from nature materials. Parents gather the materials, set up and run the room. (Contact: Judith Madey)

Fifth Grade: “COZY CAFÉ” Baked goods, hot drinks, cider and soup will be served throughout the Fair in the Art Studio. Live music from local talents will be playing throughout the day. 5th grade parents will be responsible for filling shifts and any extra food preparation, which will be organized by the class Fair Reps and their class teacher. (Contact: Emma Hershauzer) (Music Contact: Jeanine Earnhart)

Sixth Grade: “THE COMMUNITY CRAFT ROOM” Offers handmade gifts for sale, which have been made and donated by students, parents and friends. This includes items made at craft workshops, wooden toys made by gnomes and other items. Parents organize, setup and run this room – 5th Grade Classroom. (Contact: Gisela Franceschelli)

Seventh & Eighth Grades: “MAIN FOOD TENT” Class parents prepare the food for sale during the fair. Located outside of the Teaching Kitchen. Students take on shifts throughout the day – also helping to set up and breakdown tent. *Please make sure food supplies are ordered to sufficiently cover dishes. (We don’t want to run out of food!) (Contact: Kevin Kilb)

Ninth Grade: “PARKING & BOOK HEARTH / HAND TO HAND ROOM” Students organized by high school faculty fill parking shifts during the Fair. In addition, shifts will be taken at the woolens and book sale in the 1st Grade Classroom. Parents & children support Fair clean up after the Fair closes at 4 pm. Parking coordinator is Gary Ocean. Book Hearth & Hand to Hand contact is Amanda Yorck. & JoJo Roy (Contact: Louisa Heyward)

Tenth Grade: “STAINED GLASS” The Chemistry Lab is transformed into a Stained Glass Studio. Under the guidance of Sheila Mahut (Friday set-up only), students will organize, setup and run the activity. Pre-Fair assistance with crafting and cooking/baking is encouraged. Friday set-up and advisor: Sheila Mahut  (Contact: Isabel Rooney)

Eleventh Grade: “CANDLE DIPPING” In the Candle Dipping Room (Loft Level) local musicians play melodic tunes, while community members of all ages quietly walk in a circle, dipping sweet bees wax candles. Parents organize, setup and run this activity. Friday set up and advisor: Jennifer Kenyon (Contact: Michele Kowalski) (Music Contact: Jeanine Earnhart)

Twelfth Grade: “BARBECUE” A barbecue is setup outside the school on the 4 Square Court. Parents and students will be responsible for setting up and running this tent. Food is ordered in coordination with Kevin Kilb’s class that runs the main food tent. See 7th & 8th Grade. (Contact: Linda McNutt)


 “ARTISAN RAFFLE” This will be taking place during the Fair alongside the Gingerbread Auction in the School Hall. Tables will be set up against the wall with vendor raffle prizes displayed. Raffle ticket purchases are made next to tables and raffle prizes called nearing the end of the Fair. (Contact: Taylor Race)

 “HVS COMMUNITY ONLINE SILENT AUCTION” Local creations by the talented HVS parent body and local community artisans and businesses will be silent auctioned Online in the weeks leading up to the Fair and final auction conducted in the School Hall. (Contact: Sanne Ameln-Pietzner)

 “HANDCRAFTED BENCH RAFFLE” The Yuletide Gnomes have been hard at work creating a very high-end, black walnut bench with wrought iron legs and hand hammered copper inlay. This bench will be displayed before and during the Fair. (Contact: Jeff Shea)

 “CAKE WALK” A Cake-Walk is a game similar to a raffle and musical chairs. People buy tickets to participate, hoping to be the last one standing, and the winner of a cake. This event will take place in the High School Eurythmy Room. (Music Contact: Jeanine Earnhart) (Contact: Anna Taiga)


 “PTA WELCOME TABLE” Located under the Apple Tree, in front of the main building. This table will be the community ‘Welcome Center’ for the Fair. Yuletide Fair Programs will reside here, as well as volunteer sign up sheets for upcoming PTA sponsored events. Soup will be generously supplied and served. This will also serve as the lost and found. (Contact: Karine Bois)

“HAND TO HAND & BOOK HEARTH” Located in the 1st Grade Classroom, this is where donated, lightly used items will be sold:  woolens, sweaters, blankets, coats and other cold weather gear. In addition to woolens, used wooden toys and games will be sold too and used books. This serves as a great place for the community to buy gifts for the holiday season. (Contact: Amanda Yorck.) *See 9th Grade.

“TUROSE ANNEX” Located in the 7th Grade Classroom. (Contact: Caroline O’Neil)

“QUIET ROOM” This year the 2nd Grade Room will host the quiet space. Mats should be placed on the floor, as well as chairs available, for comfortable relaxation. This space will not be staffed.

**For shift sign ups, please click here or copy and paste this into your browser: bit.ly/hvsfairshifts