Immaculate Conception holds annual Holiday Extravaganza
THREE RIVERS — For decades, many people in the Three Rivers area have circled the first Saturday of November on their calendars for what has become a staple in the community.
On Saturday, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church held their annual Holiday Extravaganza, with different activities held between their church, gymnasium, and school building.
The day-long event started with a breakfast in the church basement put on by the Knights of Columbus, along with a special appearance by Santa Claus. About 65 people showed up to the breakfast, which included pancakes, sausage, eggs, and oatmeal bar, and more.
A vendor expo was also held in the school, which featured 18 vendors, including massage therapists, jewelry vendors, crafts and other local businesses with a variety of products. It also featured a children’s activity room with games, face painting, a cakewalk and a children’s eyesight exam provided by the Lions Club.
“This was the best turnout we’ve had for the vendor expo in the last five years,” Immaculate Conception School Principal Sharon Voege, who helped run the expo throughout the day, said. She also thanked those who participated and praised the collaboration between all the branches of the parish for the entire event.
The most notable part of the Extravaganza, though, was the craft bazaar, put on by the Daughters of Mary women’s group at Immaculate Conception, which drew hundreds of people into the church gymnasium to check out different crafts, toys and raffles available.
Pixie Ziehm, secretary of the Daughters of Mary group and co-chair of the bazaar, agreed that the extravaganza and the bazaar are staples of the community.
“It’s a very well-known event,” Ziehm said. “You hear people all the time when we put our flyers up say, ‘oh, that’s that first one, that’s a good show,’ which thrills us. We want to be known as a good one.”
The bazaar featured a craft table, a “country store” with baked goods, pillows and other items, a “white elephant” booth, where donated items can be purchased for “almost pennies,” according to Ziehm, a kids’ toy booth, a gift basket booth, and a kitchen which served lunch and dinner. A raffle was also available for multiple items, including a stocking filled with lottery tickets.
Ziehm said the bazaar is known for being inexpensive and keeping prices down so as not to “gouge anybody.”
“We figure people going to craft shows only have so much money to spend, and we hope that they’ll spend it here, so we try to keep everything reasonable,” Ziehm said.
Proceeds from the bazaar, the Daughters of Mary’s biggest fundraiser for the year, go to help out the church, as well as different community services. Nancy Schopf, president of Daughters of Mary, said the money raised has previously gone to many different efforts.