Shoppers by the thousands turned up last weekend at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre for the craft fair of the season.
And as usual, the annual Santa Presents event did not disappoint.
“Wow, I don’t know where to begin,” said a surprised June Kennedy of Kelowna as she walked through the doors of the main hall. “I just hope they take credit cards because I don’t think I’ve got enough cash. It just looks like there are so many really neat things for sale. I can’t wait.”
At the same time she was arriving, Susan Eaton was just leaving after spending time at the fair with her mother and two children.
“This definitely put me in the Christmas spirit,” said Eaton. “I liked all the jewelry places and the kids just loved it, there were lots of things for them”
Inside on the floor, Marge Noble, who has co-organized the event for the past 16 years, admitted she was tired but on Cloud 9 based on the response from the public.
“Yesterday we were just so incredibly visited and getting towards the last part of our day on Sunday, it’s just been a steady crowd,” said Noble as she watched Santa who was making his rounds of the room, handing out candy canes to young and old alike. “It’s so nice everyone has a smile on their faces and people are saying, ‘Marge, you and your family have done such a superb job.’ And as you know that is not why we do this, but it is still deeply satisfying to know that we’re measuring up to the bar. “
One of the new participants in this year’s fair was Surrey based artist Olga Osnach whose unique creations made from polymer clay caught the attention of many shoppers.
The miniature figurines ranged from colourful rabbits and mice to sleeping fairy snails and elves, including some fittingly encased in clear ornaments to hang on the tree.
Myrna Decock of MAD Creations was back again this year at the fair with her cuddly, stuffed Christmas characters and articles with her signature button attachments.
The success of the fair is particularly good for the Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation which benefits from some of the money raised at the annual event.
Funds this year will be added to the $55,000 Santa Presents has already raised over its lifetime.
The Noble family members will now settle down to enjoy the rest of the Christmas season before beginning work on the 2013 fair which Noble predicts will be bigger and better than ever.