More than 30 vendors from all over Knox County and surrounding areas sold products and crafts from 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 4 where Ohiya Casino and Resort held their 2nd annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Four Winds Event Hall.
Shoppers perused a variety of booths showcasing everything from “upcycled” crafts and baked goods to Scentsy and Pampered Chef. Cheer was abounding as shoppers came and went from each unique table. Cookies and cider provided by Ohiya kept visitors feeling welcome and warm.
Deb Tangeman, Gift Shop Supervisor and organizer of the Holiday Extravaganza event, began the extravaganza to give people a place to shop for handmade and unique gifts for the holiday season. Tangeman said she was very happy with the turnout. Attendance was up from last years event and she was hopeful for an even larger event in the future.
Many of the vendors were from Knox County. Niobrara local, Tyler Dimig is an independent consultant for both Thirty-One and Scentsy. Dimig said one of his challenges this time of year is keeping enough in stock for the holiday season and the many shows he attends in the holiday season.
Gigi Larsen of Verdigre showcased and sold her holiday crafts. An uplifting stacked crate display of sock snowmen, wrapped bottles, and miniature holiday-themed tree-scapes made great gift ideas.
Among many eye catching tables, Art By Wendy stood out as something new to the area's market. Wausa resident Wendy Ketelsen creates steampunk jewelry from various found and dismantled objects, particularly watch parts. She packages them on old bingo cards. Some parts are almost unrecognizable, but all create one of a kind artistic jewelry.
“I see somethingand think, 'Oh! I could make a necklace out of that,'” Ketelsen said as she talked about dismantling pocket watches and finding inspiration in miscellaneous objects such as vacuum tubes. By going to shows like Ohiya's Holiday Extravaganza, Ketelsen says she is able to focus on her art part-time while enjoying a part-time job as a librarian.