Annual De Smet Craftshow and Chili Challenge well attended

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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A break in the cold weather Nov. 22 made it a nice day for the annual craft show and chili challenge held at De Smet High School. Nearly 40 vendors set up booths in the gymnasium for the craft fair sponsored by the De Smet Community Women. The DCW also set up a concession table and served a noon meal.


This is the second year the DCW has organized the craft fair. Judy Poppen started the annual event and managed it for 15 years, but DCW took over last year when Poppen retired from the project.


DCW member Linda Foley said there might have been a few less shoppers this year than last, but there were about the same number of vendors.


Kathy Hawkins worked at the concession table. “The concessions went good,” she said. “And it looked like most people were leaving with a purchase.”


There was something to interest everyone and many people got some Christmas shopping done. A wide variety of items could be found, including toys, De Smet Bulldog apparel, scarves, jewelry, fingernail art, specialty coffees and teas, along with merchandise from local businesses and products from national distributers such as Avon, Watkins, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and more.


Area crafters had a chance to show their skills and sell their original works as well. Norm Whitaker of De Smet has made stained glass art for several years and is a regular vendor at the event. Former De Smet resident Gerry Lynn (Harris) Allen is another regular at the De Smet show.  She creates women’s purses and men’s travel totes, decorative wine bottle carriers, crocheted dresses, and doll and baby blankets.


Mary Hymans of Lake Norden weaves different varieties of sturdy rugs. “For my wool rugs, I pre-shrink all the wool,” she said. She also uses recycled denim and other materials for some rugs. Paul and Joan Aslesen of Canton make small wooden toy chests and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, among other items. This was their first year selling their crafts in De Smet. The Aslesens said they usually go to larger craft shows, but they liked the idea of the one-day show in De Smet.

The De Smet Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Chamber Chili Challenge every year to coincide with the DCW craft fair.  Five chili chefs entered the cook off this year.  Returning chefs were Tony and Darlene Bollig, and Floyd and Judy Stubbe. Candy Wolkow and Dane Slater were both new to the competition.


Wolkow won for the best decorated table, second place in the original recipe category and the best-of-the-best judges award. Darlene Bollig won first in the specialty category. Judy Stubbe won first place in both the spicy-but-edible and original recipe categories. Slater won the peoples’ choice award. Floyd Stubbe won second place in the specialty category and third in the spicy-but-edible category.


“Next year we are going to challenge the organizations in De Smet and surrounding areas to enter, so start practicing,” Chamber President Chad Kruse said.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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