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Friday, November 4, 2011

Hill Farm Fall Fest Flogged by Rainy Weather but Presses On

Hill Farm Fall Fest Flogged by 
Rainy Weather but Presses On
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)

Fairfield, CT – Mother Nature is wily and that’s o.k., except when it comes to fundraisers. Parishioners of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, who hoped for a full turnout Saturday for their Hill Farm Fall Festival, were disappointed when less than a third of planned exhibitors showed due to consecutive days of rain and a gusty and wet Fest morning.

Of 30 arts and crafts vendors that were expected to exhibit, only seven appeared at the grassy 160 Hill Farm Road site for the 2nd annual event. While that gathering was disappointing, vendors, parishioners and attendees alike made the best of things, bonded and shared recollections. And all was for a good cause, with proceeds benefiting Fairfield’s Operation Hope.

“We did our first fest at the same time last year and it was beautiful,” shared Fairfielder Jeff Cronin, a parishioner for the past 10 years and this year playing the role of master hot dog griller. “This year, the weather was iffy and it kept vendors away. We’re kind of high up here at the foot of Greenfield Hill and catch the wind, too.”

Fairfield native Carl Bjorklund, a parishioner for the past 30 years, took the opportunity to share his thoughts on the background of the church. “It was a Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church initially, located on Washington Avenue on the east side of Bridgeport,” he said. “It was established there about 120 years ago and moved to this current site in the mid-1960s when Route 25 went through. While the new structure was being built, the congregation met at Riverfield School.”

Parishioner Bobbie Trahnstrom chimed in to say that she became a parishioner the year the church was relocated, in 1965. “The pastor was Dr. Albert Schilke,” she said. “He confirmed by two eldest kids. The current pastor is Rev. Mark Christoffersen.” She confirmed the Danish origins adding, “These days, it’s very mixed, though there’s still a strong following of Scandinavians.”

Dale Thomas, like Trahnstrom, a parishioner since 1965, jumped in to add his contribution. “When you talk to people on the rare occasion about churches, they often say, ‘That’s the prettiest little church. It’s very New Englandy.”

While his affiliation with the church only spanned two years, Bob Roy had assumed the role of Fest organizer. “My old church, St. Mark’s Lutheran in Bridgeport, closed for lack of supporters and for financial reasons,” he said. “This year we are supporting Operation Hope, on this their 25th anniversary. Last year, our mission was to support Haiti and help with earthquake relief. I have found a warm welcome here at Our Saviour’s.”

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