SANDWICH – Bonnie and William Stewart of Sandwich are always looking for unique, one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, and they didn’t have to go far this past weekend.
They attended the Sandwich Park District’s 11th annual Holiday Lane Craft Show and Festival of Trees. The event was Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, at Redberri Convention Center inside Montcler Hotel, 330 Drew Ave. in Sandwich.
“We’re out today doing some shopping and wanted to check out the crafts,” Bonnie Stewart said. “We try to come every year; we always really enjoy it.”
During the event, about 30 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses, organizations and churches were on display, and 54 vendors sold handcrafted and homemade gifts.
On Saturday, entertainment included performances by Gold Star Academy of Dance, Indian Valley Community Band and The Lamplight Singers.
Santa Claus made appearances both days for photos with children. Montcler Hotel also sponsored Breakfast with Santa both days.
Lisa Pennington of Plano said that strolling down the hallway of decorated Christmas trees “was a nice getaway before the holidays.”
“We go to the Museum of Science and Industry every year to see their Christmas trees,” Pennington said.
“It’s fun to see how everybody decorates differently. And while we’re here, we’ll do some shopping and look at all the crafters and vendors.”
Kandy Nolan of Yorkville, owner of Life is Meshy, sold mesh wreaths and tabletop decorations at her vendor booth.
“The majority of my items are holiday-themed, so it’s nice to attend holiday shows,” Nolan said. “I also sell items on Facebook and do custom orders, but it’s nice to meet people in the community and have them look at my decorations.”
Kay Gress of Maple Park has been selling handmade and handpainted ceramics and trinkets at craft shows and markets for 40 years.
“I love all holidays, not just Christmas, but also Halloween and Easter,” Gress said.
“I love selling items at events like this because I enjoy talking to people, talking about the items I sell. I’ve made lifelong friends that way,” she continued.
Candace Kissel, program manager for the park district, described the event as a way to support the local economy and local businesses.
“There are a lot of great vendors this year, beautifully decorated trees and plenty of entertainment,” Kissel said. “It’s a nice community event with a fun holiday atmosphere. It’s part of Sandwich’s Christmas tradition.”
The Sandwich Park District will sponsor another Christmas event next week.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 20, the Sandwich Park District and Meadowvale will present the film “Elf” at the Sandwich Opera House. The event will include food and an ugly sweater contest. Tickets cost $5 each. Proceeds help provide park programs for kids in need.
For more information about the Sandwich Park District and to learn more about upcoming events and programs, visit www.sandwichparkdistrict.org or call 815-786-8044.