Santa Presents offers new vibrancy to Penticton show

Thousands who want to get a leg up on their Christmas shopping will pass through the doors of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

OLGA OSNACH adjusts her display of animals andcollectible art dolls at last year’s Santa Presents.

This weekend, thousands of shoppers who want to get a leg up on their Christmas shopping will pass through the doors of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre for the craft fair of the season.

For 17 years, Santa Presents has featured the craft work of vendors from all over the province.

“I think it is the personalized touch of the items that people love. We offer unique handmade items and all kinds of wonderful goods and foods with a widespread appeal,” said organizer Marge Noble. “These vendors have a real passion for what they create and it shows in the quality.”

New this year is the art of tablescaping. Noble said she is tapping into the boom of dinner parties by inviting interior designer Joanne Birch from Penticton and Defining Decor’s Tyler O’Hara to host workshops at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. They will teach people the art of dressing tables.

“This will add to the vibrancy of the show,” said Noble. “They will demonstrate a well scaped table. A well planned table really reflects the importance of sitting around and enjoying good food together.”

A full table setting, including dishes, cutlery and wine glasses will be set up near the doors and be raffled off. As well there will be door prizes for gift certificates to local restaurants and a overnight stay at the Lakeside Resort. Since its inception in 1997, Noble said the event has doubled in vendors and attendees. Some of the trends she has seen in recent years is a surge of home chefs who are looking for unique items to have in their kitchens. Foodies will also enjoy new additions to Santa Presents with local businesses like Brodo and Burger 55 who will be selling sauces and soups.

“There is all kinds of beautiful sauces and food items. There is a really wide variety of choice and If you don’t want to buy these things as Christmas gifts, you will find it hard not to be tempted to want any of these things yourself,” said Noble.

Proceeds from Santa Presents go to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. Santa Presents has raised $62,000 for the cause since 1997. This year, funds will be directed to the purchase of an X-ray digital radiography machine.

“We are big supporters of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation and that is one of the reasons why it is so important that Penticton and area attends to help support this cause and raise funds for this machine that helps detect all kinds of diseases,” said Noble.

Of course, you can’t have a show called Santa Presents without the man himself making an appearance. Noble said each day at 1 p.m Santa will be at the event, unless he is too busy getting ready for Christmas;  then Mrs. Claus will be there. Welcoming the public into the venue will be Simon Funk on the harp.

Santa Presents runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4.

While some of the vendors may be set up for credit card transactions, organizers of Santa Presents suggest bringing cash to pay for purchases.

An ATM machine is on site in the convention centre.

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