Fair Weather Acres is best-known for its Halloween-oriented attraction, The Annual Corn Maize and Fall Festival, but on Dec. 16, it will host an event to celebrate the Christmas season, albeit one with a lower profile. Between 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. on Sunday, Santa Claus will be on-site, and everyone who visits the store will receive a free ice cream.
"We do it to get rid of our ice cream stock," manager Michele Collins acknowledged. "But, it's nice. We bring a Santa in, and each kid can sit on his lap for pictures."
The manager admitted that the occasion also grants the store the opportunity to showcase its holiday retail offerings. "Not as many people know about the Christmas side of our business," she conceded.
Fair Weather Acres's Christmas business obviously begins with their stock of Christmas trees. The store gets its trees, predominantly balsams and fraziers, "from Maine and Vermont, although a few might be from Canada," according to Collins.
The shop's tree selection spans from $28 - $90 in price and 4' - 14' in height. The majority of trees cost in the $30 - $45 range and are between 6' - 7.5' tall.
"Most people's ceilings are about 8'," Collins explained.
The store also offers artificial trees, but "doesn't sell a lot," said Collins. The fake trees that it does sell are all pre-decorated.
Fair Weather Acres provides an array of other holiday decorations, including ornaments, garlands, yule logs, cemetery blankets, and wreaths that range from 8" - 48" in diameter.
"You can get nice decorations at any old store, but we can actually customize your designs," Collins boasted, highlighting a specialty of her store's holiday service.
Collins also gets some Christmas items that are not fashioned or arranged by her own people. This year she traveled to obtain "wooden stars, lit benches, and other holiday-themed primitive-ware" from a craftsman in Lancaster, PA.
The manager said that her store's wares end up becoming "a lot of Christmas presents." An especially popular gift choice are the shop's "custom baskets with honey and preserves," she declared.
Fair Weather Acres also features 45 different kinds of pie for the holiday season. Pie orders can be placed up until a week before Christmas, and, as the store is open until Dec. 24, shoppers can pick up their pies as late as Christmas Eve.
Fair Weather Acres will be closed on Christmas and remain so for approximately three months until it reopens in the spring.
Fair Weather Acres will be visited by Santa this Sun., Dec. 16, from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m., and a free ice cream will be served to all comers. The store is located at 1146 Cromwell Ave.