BENTON -- For the past 12 years, the annual Winter Wonderland of Treasures Sale in Benton has promoted its wide variety of handmade crafts.
And there's a good reason for that, according to event organizer Judy Scherer.
"When people come to a craft show, they want to see crafts," Scherer said, adding she limits the number of direct sales booths to only three to five of the total 55 vendors.
This year's fundraiser by St. Denis School will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the St. Denis Parish Center on Highway 61 in Benton. It will feature handmade crafts, specialty-food items, direct-sale items and more. Admission is free.
"People want to see a variety, and I go to great links to find vendors who may have neat things and different things people want so that we don't have 15 of the same booths," Scherer said.
Some of this year's vendors will be selling wooden ornaments, tutus, embroidered pillow cases, baby items, handmade purses and jewelry, personalized T-shirts and blue jean aprons.
"Anything and everything you want, we'll probably have it," said Scherer, who sells handmade quilts that are both hand-sewn and machine-sewn.
New this year is a Scott City vendor who will be serving a variety of flavored coffees and cappuccinos and also selling those by the pound, Scherer said.
"The booths with food go over really good. There are homemade chicken noodles and candies, and we do have people making food and selling pecans," Scherer said.
Vendor Taryn LeGrand-Lovett of Charleston sells handmade rosaries.
"I started making the rosaries several years ago," LeGrand-Lovett said. "I made one for my mother using the birthstones for all of her children. It was so colorful."
Since then LeGrand-Lovett has been making rosaries using glass beads.
"It's a really nice event. It seems like everybody really has a good time and everyone is so pleasant -- the vendors and the participants," LeGrand-Lovett said.
Since it began 12 years ago, the event has ballooned into a craft fair expected every year on the first Saturday in December.
"This is a very big deal in Benton," Scherer said. "People come from all over the surrounding areas."
Between 800 and 900 visitors come from not only the Benton area but as far north as Perryville and Ste. Genevieve and as far south as Sikeston, Dexter and Poplar Bluff.
Concessions homemade by ladies of the parish and St. Denis eighth grade students' parents are also available throughout the day.
Proceeds benefit both St. Denis Catholic School and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"Everyone enjoys it," Scherer said of the event. "Even if they don't buy anything, they will have a blast."
For the entire story, see the Nov. 30 Standard Democrat or click here to log on to the electronic edition.