Annual fundraiser and craft show ‘Tinsel Trail’ returns after taking year off

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The annual fundraiser and craft show ‘Tinsel Trail’ returned to Stevens Point Sunday, after taking last year off from the Pandemic. The craft show falls during the opening weekend of the gun-deer season as hunters go out to hunt, while others go out to shop. The fundraiser is put on annually by the Stevens Point Junior Women’s Club. Organizers said this year’s attendance could be record-breaking.

“We had a line out the door waiting to shop at 8 o’clock this morning, we didn’t open until 8:30,” one of the coordinators for Tinsel Trail, Lisa Rychter said.

She explained everyone, including the vendors were eager to get back to business.

“They have been looking to get back to a little sense of normalcy and so are our shoppers.”

The $3 entrance fee didn’t only buy shoppers their way into the fair, it’ll also go towards organizations throughout Portage County, thanks to the Stevens Point Junior’s Women Club.

“We support our local schools, we volunteer our time to feed at a local soup kitchen, we just love to spend our time giving back and helping others,” Rychter explained.

Vendors at the craft show said they’ve seen record-breaking numbers all year during craft shows, which could also be caused by the supply-chain shortages being seen across the nation.

“People really love to shop, I mean they’re just coming in by the droves,” Owner and vendor of Two Mile Creek Primitives, René Scheinoha said.

But that’s what René looks forward to the most each year.

“At the end of it, I just keep thinking about the people and their faces and the ‘thank you’s’ and ‘I’ve come back every year to your booth and I bought this, and I bought this, and then my friends saw it, and they had to have one and they came back and they bought one.’”

A never-ending cycle that she knows how to prepare for.

“When I see something I grab it because I have an idea and then I save it all year and then I get yelled at because I have a whole bunch of junk in my house ‘get rid of this’ I will, I will’” René eagerly explained.

But she said it’s all about bringing joy to others.

“You make things to make people happy, I mean that’s the main thing is making somebody happy.”

Which the holiday season is all about. René mentioned that all of her crafts were made in 45 days, and most of them are made out of repurposed supplies.

“An old barn board, I have safe deposit boxes that were thrown out and discarded and old lamps I turned into.”

But one thing she did have trouble finding two years ago was “...snowflakes, but I went and bought more this year so I’m good through 2024 on snowflakes.”

All she can say to her customers is “thank you so much,” until next year.

Tinsel Trail has typically raised thousands of dollars in the past from the fundraiser, and the extra donation the Junior Women’s Club asked for at the door will go to local food pantries.

To learn more about the Junior Women’s Club, click here.

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