Wonderfest Arts, Craft Expo offers holiday fun to benefit local charities

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Photo provided Nancy Wallace (right) raffles off items during last year's Wonderfest event. This year Wonderfest is set for Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Beloit Memorial High School.

BELOIT - If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit, you might want to visit the 38th Annual Wonderfest Arts and Craft Expo.

With more vendors and a new reading area for kids, the event is set for 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday at Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 Fourth St. Admission is $2.

"We always get more than 1,000 people in attendance. There's food and lots of new vendors," said Beloit Junior Women's Club Advertising Chairperson Debbie Rykowski. "We are going to have Santa's helpers with a reading area for children at the event. All the children that come to the reading area will get a free book courtesy of the Beloit Junior Women's Club."

The Bake Shoppe will feature its own holiday "secret recipe" cookies handmade and decorated by Beloit Junior Women's Club. More than 1,000 cookies sell out every year.

People can shop for home decor, holiday gifts and more. Wonderfest will feature more than 60 artists, crafters and vendors with yard decor, clothing, repurposed items, artwork, soaps, lotions, popcorn, jewelry and home holiday decorating items and gifts for everyone.

Rykowski noted organizers tried to reach out to vendors outside the area to include more unique items for the big show.

There also will be gift baskets raffled every hour.

Funds raised are donated to charitable projects in the Stateline community such as Project 16:49, Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor's Center, VetsRoll, its scholarship program and many other local charities.

"We raise more than $10,000 which all goes back into charities in the Beloit community," Rykowski said.

The cookies for the big event have been baked and were frosted at a special event on Thursday evening complete with a potluck.

"Over a thousand cookies ready to go," Rykowski said.

Rykowski said there are about 50 members of the Beloit Junior Women's Club.

"We have a very good group of people," she said. "We've really grown this past couple of years."

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