FRIENDS of Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville to host Christmas Market

| Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, 6:21 a.m.

The FRIENDS of Carnegie Free Library will host a Christmas Market during “It's a Connellsville Christmas” on Saturday.

“Last year, sellers and buyers were very pleased with the event. It is a festive holiday atmosphere,” FRIENDS member Sheryl Craven said.

Vendors will set up in the auditorium on the second floor. Spaces have sold out. Shoppers will get to browse leisurely through the comfortable indoor venue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shoppers will be greeted by crafters, designers and nonprofit organizations offering unique items of many kinds. Expect to see Sassy Accessories, handmade Alpaca items, Jewelry by the Hart, Krafty Kreations, handmade doll clothes, scarves and arm warmers, bottle cap necklaces, Spa Faces beauty items and special offers, seasonal handmade crafts and for year-round decorating, Silpada Design, Dressed Up Drinks, handmade purses, children's gift items, acrylic paintings, fashion, theme and handmade jewelry and jeweled creations and a Chinese auction. Homemade baked goods will be sold. CAHS Patriots, Highlands Hospital Club and The Running Dead will have tables and will promote upcoming events.

The FRIENDS of the library will sell seasonal cookie jars — to give or keep on hand for guests or as an activity for grandkids.

“The FRIENDS motto is ‘From jar to table in 10 minutes!' ” FRIENDS member Karen Macko said. “The jars are beautifully packed with the best ingredients and decorated (no need for gift wrap) with a holiday theme. The price is $10. They can also be purchased at ArtWorks and Spa Faces.

“All monies generated by the sale of the jars is directed back into the library to support ongoing activities and new programs,” she added.

Café Carnegie's Rainbow Soup Mix will be available while supplies last. It is a very attractive arrangement of dried red kidney beans, Great Northern beans, split peas, lentils and black beans. Included inside the top of the jar is a packet of hand-packed spices that season the beans to make a nutritious and colorful soup. The only ingredient to add is a 28-ounce can of tomatoes, which adds flavor and color to the broth.

“One of the reasons that this bean combo was selected is because it has a shortcut suggestion in the recipe,” FRIENDS member Linda Ruth said. “This soup tastes and looks like it has been blending for hours.”

The tops of the jars are hand-decorated with a holiday theme and a decorative FRIENDS recipe guide. The group will also sell a popular Christmas gift item, a FRIENDS canvas bag that honors Andrew Carnegie on the 110th anniversary of Connellsville's Carnegie Free Library.

Those needing assistance may use the elevator to reach the second floor. For anyone who has not been to the library lately, FRIENDS member Rose Galik will host tours at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Also, don't forget to check out the Connellsville Museum on the second floor. There is no admission charge for the Christmas Market.

On the library's first floor, the new Café Carnegie will open its doors for the day, as part of “It's a Connellsville Christmas.”

“Café Carnegie has been on the drawing board for quite some time,” said Chris Wallander, project coordinator. “A coffee shop was a dream, first of Julia Allen, a longtime director of the Carnegie Free Library; the library board members often discussed plans of a coffee shop, but with money always a concern, the cafe was put on the back burner.”

Now, with three major sponsors, monetary donations, volunteer construction expertise and community involvement, plus overcoming many hurdles, the dream has become a reality. After 13 months, Café Carnegie will open its doors for a one-day introduction. The official ribbon-cutting and grand opening will take place in early 2014.

Staffed by volunteers, Café Carnegie will offer cappuccinos, espressos and lattes, as well as, paninis, soups and desserts for a suggested donation of $10 for the entire lunch during this special opening. Volunteers have been trained and Café Carnegie is licensed and inspected.

Gillies Coffee Co. of New York is the featured brand at Café Carnegie and will be served in eclectic mugs. Gillies Coffee can be purchased by the pound as beans or freshly ground. Flavors include Columbia Supremo, Hazelnut, Roasted Pecan, French Vanilla and French Breakfast, among others. Jamaican Me Crazy flavor also will be offered; it has no sugar, no cholesterol, no fat, no calories, no carbs, no additives.

“We hope to have many visitors to Café Carnegie and our Christmas Market Saturday. ‘It's a Connellsville Christmas' is a wonderful event for our community,” FRIENDS member Cathy Kumor said.

Although primarily run by the FRIENDS of Carnegie Free Library, Café Carnegie is seeking a manager. Information can be found on and the Morgantown Craigslist.

“So on Saturday, everyone is invited in to visit Café Carnegie. Treat yourself to lunch, take home a pound of your favorite blend and take time to relax,” Wallander said.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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