This past weekend, the St Augustine School hosted a ‘Flavor of the World’ Christmas Market. The event was to help raise funds for a desperately needed new roof for the school.
A key part of the event was serving authentic international foods from 18 countries representing five continents: Beef Empanadas from Argentina, Poutine from Canada, Vegetable Lo Mein from China, Ropa Vieja from Cuba, Pollo Guisado from the Dominican Republic, Shepard’s Pie from England, Chicken Adobo from the Philippines, Crepes from France, Brat Wurst from Germany, Baklava from Greece, Chicken Tikka Masala from India, Farfalle Alla Vodka from Italy, Chicken Pozole from Mexico, Chicken Tagine from Morocco, Paella from Spain, Manti from Turkey, Borscht from Ukraine and Pulled Pork with Mac and Cheese from the United States.
Carole CrimiVaroli said, “It’s important that we celebrate different cultures and different heritages in the Hudson Valley, and it’s really important that people come and celebrate together.”
Carole said attendance was phenomenal, and after selling out about half of the food on Saturday she had to secure more to serve on Sunday.
“It was packed yesterday and it is more packed today. It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s been a blast. Everyone is so happy and it’s been very successful.”
Carole said the vendor and sponsor fees along with the 50/50 raffle go toward the roof fundraiser.
Donna Stackhouse brought her hand-painted glassware to the event. She was invited by Carole Crimi Varoli after seeing her work at the El Paso Winery in Ulster Park.
“It’s a nice event and it has a lot of variety to it for kids and adults. I think it’s good for the community,” she said.
Lisa Graziano owns LGW Creations.
“My husband uses a San See Laser machine for all of the woodwork, my daughter makes the earrings and I make the T-shirts, so it’s a family affair and we’re trying to make some money for the church,” she said. “Some of our things go 100% to the church.”
Steve & Kimberly Wojehowski, of Woj’s Wood Shop, brought a wide variety of their hand made creations and can do custom pieces upon request.
“We’ve been doing very well; there’s a lot of people,” Kim said.
Steve has a new laser tool that can carve into stainless steel and add different colors.
Renae Martin, of Lilly Rae, started her business 12 years ago after creating lotions for her daughter who was allergic to many commercial products. She said her products are all about sticking to the health of your skin.
“Now I do all facial and body care and I have an entire men’s line as well,” she said. “I have Lilly Rae Baby, which is raw honey and oatmeal, a product line for babies because they are more sensitive.”
Renae said the market, “is wonderful and I think there is a lot of potential for this to be a great yearly event.”
Victor Samson brought jewelry that is made in Poland and Lithuania with stones set in silver; Larimar, a trade name of a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic; small hand-made glass animals from Ukraine; and ‘Nesting Dolls’ made in Ukraine, Russia and Latvia. He also was selling vintage Rock n’ Roll posters, photos and memorabilia.
Victor said there, “are many friendly people here and the promoters are nice. I’d like to come back next year.”
Rev. John Lynch said this event is, “quite literally Flavors of the World and all the hanging flags represent each nation.”
Lynch said replacing the roof is long overdue, “and is getting worse and it is beyond the repair and patching stage. We have to raise the first half [about $200,000] and then they will start the work.” He said after that they will pay they will pay off the full amount, perhaps through a bond.
Lynch said there has been a great response to the Flavors of the World and he hopes to do it every year, “because it’s been a big hit. People have enjoyed it and it brings them all together. It’s amazing how many cultures are represented in this parish, so this event kind of meets all the needs.”