You may have found traffic busier than usual on County Road 43 in Kemptville on Saturday, November 26. That’s because 1,508 holiday shoppers headed to the annual St. Michael Catholic High School Christmas Craft Show.
It was a record-breaking day for the school’s annual fundraiser, now in its 17th year. The event also featured the most vendors ever, with 175 tables of crafters, artists, artisans, woodworkers and more. One of the best features of the St. Michael Craft Show, however, remains the massive team of student volunteers who help vendors unload, set-up and pack-up, as well as offering them breaks throughout the day.
With the entire first floor of the school filled with gift ideas, many shoppers had to take a break during their visit, and the food court in the cafeteria was a favourite stop. A variety of delicious offerings were available, including shawarmas, butter chicken, homemade soups, springs rolls, chili, and hot dogs, as well as a tempting selection of baked goods and treats. Coffee was served by Kemptville’s coffee shop, Brewed Awakenings.
Many shoppers were excited by the potential to win great prizes in the show’s passport contest. If visitors received stamps from four different passport stations located throughout the school, they had a chance to win. Stacey Glassford of Oxford Mills won the $200 MasterCard gift card donated by KBC Rona-Kemptville Interiors. Tammy Durant of Winchester won the $50 Visa gift card donated by Andrea Goral School of Highland Dance. And there were 10 lucky winners of gift certificates generously donated by Shoeless Joe’s Kemptville.
Of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus. The big guy’s reindeer are resting up for the big day in December, but his travel from the North Pole was sponsored by Beth Bonvie of Royal LePage Team Realty. Santa thrilled the children and adults too. He visited all of the vendors and handed out candy canes to all.
The craft show is St. Michael’s largest single annual fundraising event. Along with the school’s other major fundraiser, the sale of gently used uniforms, the proceeds support student activities, clubs, sports, a breakfast program, field trips, equipment and more.
However, the event is a significant holiday event for the entire North Grenville community and is now one of the largest craft shows in the Ottawa Valley. It draws visitors from within a two-hour radius of Kemptville.
Held the fourth Saturday in November, the next show will take place November 25, 2017. Vendor spaces sold out within days this year and there was a lengthy waiting list, so organizers encourage interested vendors to keep watching for registration information at www.facebook.com/stmikescraftshow.