Holiday crafts make appearance in show at Holmes Student Center

By Sara Adams

Several members of Jefferson Elementary School’s PTA, 211 McCormick Drive, spent Thursday morning sprucing up Christmas trees in preparation for this weekend’s Festival of Trees.

The PTA, in conjunction with the Holiday Craft Show sponsored by the DeKalb Area Women’s Center, 1021 State St., is transforming rooms in the Holmes Student Center into a winter wonderland for the event today and Saturday.

Though this is the second year the festival has taken place, this is the first year it has been held at NIU.

“We want to create a tradition that students can grasp and look forward to,” said Norm Jenkins, assistant director of the HSC.

The craft show will feature 62 craft vendors in the Duke Ellington Ballroom and Capitol Room, which is three times more vendors than last year’s event. Craftspeople are coming from five different states, including California.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to purchase Christmas gifts that are nice and affordable,” Jenkins said.

The festival, which will be held in the Regency Room, will feature about 30 trees and wreaths sponsored by local businesses.

Today is NIU Day at the festival, and students, faculty and staff members are encouraged to attend. Saturday is Family Day and will include a visit from Santa from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a children’s holiday center with movies, crafts, games and activities.

After the festival is over, the businesses can either take their tree for their own use or donate it to the PTA raffle, which many do, said Matt Volk, Jefferson Elementary parent and Festival of Trees chair.

Local businesses have donated gift certificates for things such as oil changes and movie passes that will be given away as door prizes, Volk said. An LCD flat screen TV, a snowblower and a signed football and photograph of Brian Urlacher also will be given away.

Besides the various Christmas displays, local choirs and dance groups will be performing throughout the day on Saturday. Hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, Christmas cookies and other food items also will be available.

The PTA will use the money raised by this event to purchase playground equipment and classroom items such as books, software and technology, Volk said.

Festival of Trees

Where: The Holmes Student Center in the Regency Room, Duke Ellington Ballroom and Capitol Room

When: Friday and Saturday Dec. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free