Holiday shoppers can purchase unique one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts and, at the same time, help support the Historic Preservation Association of Bourbon County.
From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and again from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, members of the HPA will conduct the 15th annual Stocking Stuffer at the Fort Scott Community College Arnold Arena, 2108 S. Horton St.
Although the Stocking Stuffer is a traditional part of the annual Homes for the Holidays tour, no ticket is required to shop there. The Stocking Stuffer is open to the public, free of charge.
Organizer Carolyn Crystal has planned the event this year for the first time. Crystal said that the Stocking Stuffer originally consisted of consignment merchandise donated to the HPA to sell. The donors would then receive a portion of the profits and, in addition, HPA would receive a portion of the proceeds. Over the years, the sale evolved and grew, taking on individual vendors with a variety of products to sell. Even though this year's event will still include a booth with consignment merchandise for sale, the majority of the products are sold by individual vendors.
Various products will be available for purchase at the Stocking Stuffer this year, making Christmas shopping for family and friends easier.
Among the vendors scheduled to have merchandise available, local artist Bobbie Kemna will display some of her pottery, which can be purchased for Christmas gifts. In addition, Crystal will also have products that can be purchased. Event attendees can purchase many other items such as jewelry, laser engraved wood, laser cut metal decorations, baskets, cross-stitch, novelty gifts, paintings on different types of material, various ornaments, warm and whispering winter hats for women and girls, framed pictures, wooden bowls, home decor, dishware, purses, baby quilts, Taste of Home products, Avon and various Christmas items.
In addition to these items, one vendor will be selling mugs, T-shirts, and posters that she can personalize with a picture transfer. Crystal said that the picture can be taken at the event, or it can be a picture that the purchaser already has.
According to Crystal, the Stocking Stuffer will even include gifts for the family dog. These gifts will include pet bandannas, toys, placemats and gift stockings.
Along with the many gifts which can be purchased at the Stocking Stuffer, shoppers can delight in goodies from the bake sale booth. According to the bake sale coordinator, retired school teacher and local resident Dorothy Kivett, many local service organizations in addition to Bourbon County 4-H and local churches will be donating baked goods for shoppers to munch on while they make their purchases. Kivett said that in the past, the bake sale was located in a booth that was close to the arena's entrance. However, this year the baked goods will be positioned further into the building, Kivett said.
Stocking Stuffer shoppers who work up an appetite while doing their holiday shopping will be able to alleviate their hunger at the HPA Barbecue booth. The food booth coordinator, retired teacher and historian Don Miller said that shoppers will be able to purchase a barbecue beef sandwich, a bag of chips, baked beans and a drink for only $6. For those present who only wish to purchase a sandwich without all of the extras, Miller said that a single sandwich can be purchased for $3. The food booth will be serving food at 10 a.m. Miller said that coffee can be purchased much earlier than that.
Also, Miller said that shoppers can purchase a copy of the book Historic Reflections of Bourbon County, compiled by Miller and local historian Fred Campbell, Jr. Along with the book, Miller said that a companion map will be available. The map shows every place that is in the book.
According to Kivett, there has been some confusion about the Stocking Stuffer's hours of operation. The Stocking Stuffer will open on Saturday at 9 a.m. and close its doors at 5 p.m. that evening. On Sunday, event attendees can shop from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
All proceeds from the Stocking Stuffer will be used by the HPA. The HPA will use the funds for various reasons including upkeep on the Old Congregational Church, the Fort Lincoln School and Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site.
Other stops on the Homes for the Holidays tour will include the Scottish Rite Temple, 110 S. Main St., the Nate Lyons home, 750 S. National Ave.; the Larry and Pat Lyons home, 742 S. National Ave.; the Cynthia Levine home, 747 S. National Ave.; the historic Fort Lincoln School at 18th and Horton streets; the 1800s-era Christmas Ball from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Fort Scott National Historic Site; and a holiday music venue from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 2-4:45 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Liberty Theatre, 113 S. Main St.
Again this year, there will be an exclusive Moonlight and Mistletoe tour from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, which will include a light buffet and a beverage at the Nate Lyons home. Moonlight and Mistletoe tickets are $20 each and are limited to 100 guests. Moonlight and Mistletoe tickets, in addition to the special evening preview tour, will entitle their holders to admission at any of the Homes for the Holidays stops throughout the tour weekend.
Homes for the Holidays tour tickets are $8 each and may be purchased at the Country Cupboard, 12 N. Main St., or at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, 231 E. Wall St.
No tour tickets are required for admission to the Stocking Stuffer and The Christmas Ball. These events are open to the public, free of charge.
Reservations for the Moonlight and Mistletoe tour or information about the Homes for the Holidays tour may be obtained by calling (800) 245-3678 or 223-3678.