The Birth & Baby Fair was an idea borrowed from the birthing community in Santa Cruz where I moved from in January of 2004. I had been teaching prenatal yoga, holding postpartum circles, involved in Le Leche League and the Childbirth Collective in Duluth, and saw that we were missing a place where we could all join together and share our collective knowledge regarding pregnancy, birth and parenting. Through my teaching and mothering, I learned early on that the more often our circles interact the deeper the relationships are formed and our support net widens and intertwines to support our families. I wanted a place where all of that could happen at once.
We all came together for the first time in April of 2007 in the basement of Peace Church for just a couple of hours. We quickly realized that we needed more space, more time, more classes and more opportunities for families and vendors to connect. We moved to the Coppertop Church where we were able to expand. The community changed and we tried to reach a larger and more diverse group of people. The Coppertop Church graciously hosted us for quite a few years and then we moved on to Clyde Ironworks in West Duluth. Now we're very happy with our new venue at the Lincoln Park Middle School.
The Birth Fair has become a great way for vendors to connect and learn what resources are available in our community, so that we all have stronger referral networks for the families we serve. The free workshops are important platforms for new and expecting parents as information and education are so necessary to making informed choices. I've always believed that we can't be informed without information.
It truly takes a village to raise children AND parents. I feel like our little Birth Fair has turned into a village for many people. Everyone who walks through the doors has a chance to connect, feel informed, and leave empowered. My hope is that the Fair has created a strong net(work) to hold families up during these challenging and rewarding years of family growing, and that everyone can find something to learn, something surprising, something exciting, and something to connect with at each Birth Fair.
The Birth Fair is so much more than a room full of vendors. Many, many of our vendors and sponsors have been with us since the beginning. They've shown their commitment to our community and it’s like welcoming old friends back each time we come together. New vendors bring fresh energy and new skills and services.
The Birth Fair is really a fun celebration of all things family. Come for the fun kid activities. Leave your kids in the creative child space and attend a free workshop. Take your time milling through all the local opportunities that are gathered in one space. Show off your baby and connect with women you've had classes with. Drink some tea and enjoy some snacks. I enjoy seeing how the community comes together each Spring and Fall!
Come and Join us for our 23rd Birth & Baby Fair!