Shopping, Santa, carols, and Christmas tree lighting

Shawano Friends of Shawano County Library donates books as gifts

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Handmade home decorations are popular items for sale at the WOWSPACE. There will be 18 vendors on hand with choices to help with holiday shopping at this two-day event.

The holidays are here at WOWSPACE in Wittenberg.

For the past nine years Walls of Wittenberg has hosted a Christmas Craft Fair & Bake Sale at the WOWSPACE. What started out as a yearly fundraiser to fund more murals and help pay for the operating expenses of the building has expanded to an event showcasing the local talent of artists and crafters and bakers.

This year, the event will be held 3-8 p.m. Dec. 7, with tree lighting at 7 p.m., and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8 at WOWSPACE, 114 Vinal St., Wittenberg

WOW member Karen Hendrikson has been in charge of the event for the past three years.

“I love going out and finding new vendors. I also love watching the WOWSPACE being transformed into a Christmas Wonderland – lots of creativity!” Hendrikson said.

The WOWSPACE can host 18 vendors who each pay $30 for an 8 by 10 foot spot. Hendrikson said she likes to mix popular vendors with new ones each year to keep the shopping experience fresh.

New this year are Cathy Stockinger with her epoxy resin, wine glasses, and kitchen décor; Mary Welke who creates Christmas tree skirts and stockings, aprons, and soft books; Andrea Hippe with goat milk soaps and other goat products for sale; and Marie Skowen’s cement leaves and pots.

Hendrikson added that she enjoys the friendships of vendors. Anyone who wants to be considered for next year can contact her at home at 715-253-2059 or on her cell at 715-881-1689.

The Bake Sale features a large selection of fruit cakes, sweet breads, cookies, snacks, candies, and bars courtesy of the other WOW members.

The large pine tree in the adjacent Art Park will be decorated and lighted.

New this year will be a visit from Santa. He’ll be on hand to pass out bags of candy and books to every good little girl and boy.

The books are made possible by a generous donation from the Friends of Shawano County Library, who made available 150 paperback books for a variety of age levels, distributing them through the Wittenberg Branch.

“The gift of reading is universal, especially this time of year – what a great gift to give,” said Michael Wilber, branch manager of the Wittenberg library.

He had been approached by WOW event coordinator Elaine Diffor about getting involved somehow. Diffor, a retired elementary school teacher, remains passionate about getting and keeping children involved in the community.

“We are excited about adding new activities to the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Art Park on Friday – including a visit from Santa, who will be passing out books to the children,” said Diffor. “We are fortunate to have the Wittenberg Branch of the Shawano County Library donate the books! A huge thank you!”

Community businesses and members have helped this event include Terry Esker of Esker’s Town & Country hardware store, which provided the tree lights, and Lisa’s Sweet Shoppe Bakery & Catering, which provided hot cider.

Melissa Gauderman will be directing the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School Choir, which will lead the crowd in an old-fashioned Christmas carol sing-along. The Wittenberg Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Santa’s visit, the bags of candy and the cookies.

“What a great community event that we are proud to help sponsor,” said Sally Jo Stevens, president of the WACC. “As our Chamber grows and becomes more financially stable, it is our hope to continue to support events such as this.”


WHAT: WOW’s Annual Christmas Craft Fair & Bake Sale

WHERE: WOWSPACE, 114 Vinal St., Wittenberg

WHEN: Dec. 7 3-8 p.m. with tree lighting at 7 p.m.; Dec. 8 9 a.m - 3 p.m.

CONTACT: 715-253-3525 or

FYI Friday at 7 p.m. Santa will be outside in the Art Park to help light the Christmas tree and to pass out books and candy