The gymnasium at Crucifixion Elementary School was brimming with local artists and shopppers last Saturday for the school’s 10th annual Gift and Craft Showcase.

Fifty-two vendors, as well as Santa Claus, were part of the holiday event, and the fees paid by the vendors went to support Crucifixion’s technology fund.

The school’s administrative assistant Kristi Mormann said the showcase has become coveted for local vendors but spots are still filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Food, drink and cooking equipment vendors at the event included as River View Winery, Lost Lake, Wild Tree and Pampered Chef, along with cosmetics, fashion and candle vendors like Mary Kay, Lula Roe and Scentsy. A range of local artists and craftspeople also had stalls at the event, including La Crescent author John Steffes, who on hand to sign copies of his books. Baked goods were on sale throughout the showcase, and door prizes from vendors were up for grabs with registration at the front door.

“We’re most grateful for the local vendors that come here to be with us,” said administrative assistant Kristi Mormann. “We love getting them all together at this time of the year.”

La Crescent resident Jeff Erickson’s creative handiness was on display at his table of handmade birdhouses and bird feeders, made with recycled material and expired Minnesota license plates. Erickson said he just recently discovered his unique knack for constructing the hanging pieces, and decided to make a business out of it.

Meanwhile, Brownsville native Tricia Long wowed visitors with her handmade holiday decorations made from pieces of driftwood. Long, who now lives in Onalaska, said she picked up the hobby around two years ago when she injured her back, and wanted to something to take her mind off the pain. She said she gets most of the driftwood from the Black River spillway in Onalaska. Along with her decorations crafted from driftwood, Long sold sewn ornaments and ones made from fishing bobbers, as well as doll sleeping bags.

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Houston County News reporter

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