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Bethlehem Lutheran Church opens up 'Hobby Fair' to surrounding community

Danny Miles showed off a filtered telescope, that allows him to see sunspots and solar flares, at the Marysville Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Danny Miles showed off a filtered telescope, that allows him to see sunspots and solar flares, at the Marysville Bethlehem Lutheran Church's 'Hobby Fair' on Aug. 10.
— image credit: Courtesy photo.

MARYSVILLE — For three years, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Marysville has conducted an annual "Hobby Fair" to help showcase its parishioners' interests, but this year marked the first time that the event had been open to the surrounding community, on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 10.

So, how did the attendance fare at this year's Hobby Fair?

"Not much better than the previous two years," laughed John Natterstad of the Marysville Bethlehem Lutheran Church. "Still, we got maybe one or two more families, and it was a nice day, although it might have been too nice. If it had been raining, we might have gotten more people," he laughed again.

With an estimated turnout of nearly 40 attendees, this year's Hobby Fair still saw crowds gather at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, drawn not only by attractions ranging from a red Corvette to a computer-aided design woodcarving machine, but also by the promise of free ice cream and a chance to win a free barbecue set in a raffle that afternoon.

"We must have served four gallons of ice cream from Safeway," Natterstad said. "We used the proceeds from the raffle to pay for both the ice cream and the barbecue set."

Among the hobbies on display, Natterstad noted that church member Fred Messmer brought his collection of scale-model sailboats, while the Norwegian art of Rosemåling was represented by sets of painted spoons whose distinctive designs reflected their regions of origin.

"Danny Miles, one of our members who works at the PUD, is really into telescopes," Natterstad said. "He has this one telescope with filters that allow you to look at the sun safely, and see sunspots and solar flares. During the last eclipse, he went to Hawaii to observe it, because that was the best place to see it. The kids loved looking through his telescopes, and one kept coming back until his mom told him it was time to go."

Natterstad acknowledged that more could have been done to get the word out about the Hobby Fair, and wondered whether the event should be scheduled on a different day next year, or perhaps closer to the fall, the latter to capitalize upon the church's annual Oktoberfest meal.

"That way, you could come, sit down, eat and then see what we had to offer," said Natterstad, who reported that those who have attended the Hobby Fairs have enjoyed themselves. "We started it as a form of fellowship. It allowed us to get together and see what our members were doing outside of the church. There's a lot of talents on display at those Hobby Fairs that people might not get to see otherwise, so it's neat to give people a chance to share their talents."

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