The arrival of November means not only Thanksgiving in Carroll County. Craft fairs and bazaars fill the calendar this month, offering a variety of items to meet every budget.

Now in its 39th year, Ascension Episcopal Church's Mistletoe Mart in Westminster features 50 craftsmen, and attracts an average of 3,000 people over its three-day run, Nov. 8-10, according to Joyce Brown, co-chair.

The juried craft show traditionally has a waiting list of crafters wanting to participate.

"We are chock full," said Brown. In the church building, two halls, classrooms and hallways are all utilized to make room for the show. "We do have to turn people down. We try to rotate a third of them (craftsmen) out every year to keep it fresh and interesting for people."

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One of the newcomers this year is Overboard Art Inc., of Mount Airy. Specializing in sculptures of birds, Overboard Art is the proud business of Don Briddell, who began carving at age 13, in 1957.

"I've been doing it a while," Briddell chuckled. "What we're selling now is reproductions from original wood carvings."

Briddell is an avid bird lover. He does extensive research on his subjects, and has studied specimens from the Smithsonian's collection, with their approval.

"I pride highly that they are technically very accurate," Briddell said of his bird creations. "I put them in scenes that are whimsical and statement making."

For Mistletoe, Briddell will have works ranging from $20 to $150, he said. A fellow craftsman encouraged him to participate in the annual market, he said.

"This lady said it was the one show I had to go to," said Briddell.

Mistletoe Mart will offer a cafe serving lunch and dinner — as well as free cookies and spiced tea in a "peaceful and quiet room" upstairs, Brown said. Meanwhile, an "angel room" will offer baby sitting and crafts for young children so parents can shop.

Mistletoe Mart will take place Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Ascension Episcopal Church, 23 N. Court St., Westminster. Admission is $6; $1 for ages 12 and under. For information call 410-848-3251 or go to

Season of markets

Other holiday-oriented markets are also ready to make their debuts.

Since 1972, Carroll County Farmers Market has held a Christmas Market for seven Saturdays starting with the first Saturday in November. What began with 15 vendors at the Agriculture Center in Westminster now offers between 75 to 100 vendors every Saturday, according to Anita Bullock, manager.

"We are doing very well," Bullock said, of the market. "We keep getting better every year."

The free market offers baked goods, crafts, flowers, Christmas items and more for sale, she said.

Christmas Market at Carroll County Farmers Market will be every Saturday in November through Dec. 15, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Agriculture Center, Smith Avenue, Westminster. For information, call 410-848-7748.

Taylorsville United Methodist Church Bazaar has been a tradition for at least 10 years, according to Ruth Edder, chairwoman. The bazaar offers "all sorts of things," Edder said, including a silent auction, crafts, baked goods and artisans demonstrating their skills. A lunch featuring ham and oysters will also be available.

"We have a train garden that is great for children and hay rides," Edder added. "They can watch and ride to their hearts' content."