Fall brings the return of the annual Barbecue and Country Fair at Cutler Ridge United Methodist Church. The popular event takes place on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Located at 20740 Old Cutler Rd. in Cutler Bay, the church event offers food, craft items and fun for the entire family. Jean Welsh, a long time resident, has been making craft items for the fair for years and says that the event draws a large crowd of attendees each fall.
“People line up to buy the homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee served early morning, often taking home a half dozen rolls,” Welsh said. “There’s free games for children, a bake sale, hotdog lunch and a chicken barbecue served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Of course, there are about 50 vendor booths with a huge variety of items for sale set up on the church property.”
The craft group makes a wide range of items including quilts, hand-knitted and crocheted hats, mittens, scarves, stoles, afghans, children’s bibs, toys, dolls, stuffed animals and baby booties. There are many types of large and small Christmas ornaments and decorations, kitchen items such as placemats, towels, grocery bag holders, hot pot holders, aprons, dish cloths, table mats, dust mitts and casserole totes.
“We have sofa pillows, TV remote holders, silk flowers and jewelry,” Welsh said. “We fill the large Fellowship Center with tables full of all our homemade items at every Country Fair. Years ago, when we set up at Holy Rosary’s Craft Show, people told us we had the best homemade items and now we have members of the community who return yearly.”
Their craft group formed in 1978 to raise funds to purchase equipment for a newly renovated church kitchen. In the past 35 years they have raised over $75,000 for the church to fund not just improvements but special programs such as providing food for disadvantaged people in the area.
Welsh said that the yearly fair at the church where she has been a member since 1960 appeals to her for many reasons.
“I like the way the church reaches out to the community, not only the vendors who come from near and far, but the huge attendance from the local community, many returning every year and telling us how much they enjoy the Country Fair. Also, the church members, by working side by side, develop new and lasting friendships which only serve to strengthen our church ties.”
Rev. Amber Massingill, pastor of Cutler Ridge United Methodist Church, has high praise for the yearly event.
“Our annual Country Fair and Barbecue is like the kids’ lemonade stand, grandma’s porch full of rocking chairs, and the town picnic all rolled into one,” Rev. Massingill said. “It’s a unique time to visit with neighbors, support local artisans and business, and enjoy good, home-cooked food. You’re sure to see an old friend and meet new families in the community. I hope everyone will stop by.”