The Warren Mott High School Band Boosters craft show Nov. 13 attracted about 2,100 shoppers.

The Warren Mott High School Band Boosters craft show Nov. 13 attracted about 2,100 shoppers.

Photos by Deb Jacques


Shoppers delighted as holiday craft shows return

By: Maria Allard | Metro | Published November 18, 2021

 Erin Semmelroch, of Warren, had a booth at the Warren Mott High School Band Boosters craft show featuring her handmade infinity scarves.

Erin Semmelroch, of Warren, had a booth at the Warren Mott High School Band Boosters craft show featuring her handmade infinity scarves.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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METRO DETROIT — The aroma of fresh-baked cookies that fills the air as shoppers hunt for handmade Christmas crafts, delicate jewelry pieces, stocking stuffers and more has found its place again as craft show season has begun.

After many local schools, churches and organizations canceled their annual holiday craft shows in 2020 because of COVID-19, several have returned in 2021.

After a one-year absence, the Warren Mott High School Band Boosters craft show welcomed vendors and shoppers to the Warren school Nov. 13. Co-chairs Diane Green, Shanna Scott, Sara Grant and Sabrina Gwisdalla — along with many parent volunteers — worked hard to ensure a successful event. Just under 200 talented crafters displayed and sold their products.

Approximately 2,100 shoppers attended this year, looking for crocheted hats, scarves and baby blankets; jewelry; Avon products; Tupperware; Christmas items; and more. Green’s own daughter, a Warren Mott junior, entered her artwork. One highlight of the Warren Mott show is always the appearance of band students who play impromptu sets of music throughout the day.

“The band kids wander the show and form little ensembles,” Green said.

It’s their way of showing their appreciation as money raised from table rentals is used to finance various needs for the band students. That includes instrument repairs, the purchase of new instruments and funding transportation to band events. This year, a trip is planned to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“It’s our largest fundraiser for the band,” Green said. Although months of work go into each annual Warren Mott event, it’s always worth it in the end.

“It’s a lot of fun. It takes us about 15 months to plan each craft show we start for next year,” Green said. “We get the date approved as soon as school starts. This helps alleviate all of the rush in January and February. If (a crafter) did well, they’ll sign up right away and will want to be in the same spot.”

Debby Kuna and Beth Pahnke are getting ready to hold the first-ever East Middle School holiday craft and vendor show 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 4 at the middle school, 25000 Middlebelt Road in Farmington Hills.

The fundraiser, which will include raffle items and a bake sale, benefits the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association, or PTSA. East Middle School is part of Farmington Public Schools. Kuna, a teacher at Lanigan Elementary, is the fundraiser chair, and Pahnke is the PTSA president.

“We canceled it last year. This is the first time East is doing it,” Kuna said. “I started planning it two months ago. I really don’t know what to expect because it’s our first one.”

Those who attend can view homemade ornaments, jewelry, wooden crafts, garden art, hats, scarves, painted rocks and more. A representative from Scentsy, known for its wickless candles and scented wax, will be present. Kuna’s son Dylan Kuna, 11, will even have a spot to sell his trading cards.

“We’re allowing students to have tables,” Kuna said. “High school and middle school students are providing their homemade crafts.”

Payment may be different per crafter, so be prepared with cash, debit or credit cards, and personal checks. Event proceeds will be used to purchase classroom supplies and for assemblies, school events, dances and student advocacy issues.

“The most important thing: it gives back to kids,” Kuna said.

So far, 30 vendors have signed up for the East Middle School show, but there’s still time to participate. For table rentals, contact Kuna at (248) 320-7553 or debby.kuna@fpsk12.net.

On the other side of town, the Parcells Middle School Parent Teacher Organization’s 46th annual holiday arts and crafts bazaar returns this year 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4 at the school, at 20600 Mack Ave., in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Admission costs $3 and is free for children 12 and younger and for all Grosse Pointe Public School System staff with an employee badge. Show organizers will follow COVID-19 protocols; therefore, face masks will be required.

This event is stroller friendly, and parking is available behind the school on Sunningdale Park. There will be 50/50 raffle tickets for sale at $1 each, seven for $5, or 15 for $10. There is still time to sign on as a vendor by visiting www.parcellsbazaar.com.

“There’s a link for online registration that shows the map of the building and which booths have sold out,” said Donna Miller, who is co-chairing the bazaar with Anna Kociba. At press time, 140 vendors were ready.

Money raised from booth rentals benefits student programs, including classroom parties, the eighth grade promotion ceremony, awards ceremonies, teacher appreciation meals, music enrollment scholarships and teachers’ wish lists.

The Parcells PTO has been able to hold the craft show every year since 1975. Last year, the show was virtual, and it’s back in person this year.

“It’s a tradition. I love a good craft show, myself. We’re very excited to be back in person this year. We only allow crafters to bring homemade items. People that are coming are looking to shop for unique-looking items,” Miller said. “This year, we have many return vendors, as well as new ones. Some are trying it for the first time.”

The Parcells show will include hand-embroidered products, apparel for all ages, handmade pens, custom doll clothes, pet accessories, bath and body products, food and beverages, pillows, beach glass mosaics, wooden signs, paintings and prints, glass, and wreaths. There have been a lot of connections between the crafters and the public over the years at the Parcells Middle School annual bazaar.

“The hard work they put in … it’s something the crafters work on all year,” Miller said.

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