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St. Mary’s annual Holiday Expo is Saturday. With nearly 60 booths of gift ideas for early holiday shoppers, the event is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s School in Greensburg. There is no admission charge.

GREENSBURG – St. Mary’s Holiday Expo is Saturday. Doors at St. Mary’s Elementary/Middle School open at 8 a.m. with the event concluding at 2 p.m.

With more than 50 booths of holiday gift-giving cheer, it may take some shoppers the whole 5 hours to see everything, let alone make purchases.

Setting up for such an event is not a small task, and listening to event organizer and originator (and tenured St. Mary’s teacher) Tricia Witkemper explain it is even exciting!

“I’m really lucky that this year student council has taken over the set-up and I sponsor them, so I’ll have great help. They’re very ambitious this year,” said Witkemper.

With a 21-member Student Council that spans three grades (6, 7 and 8) she is in good shape.

According to Witkemper, there wouldn’t be an expo if the kids didn’t want to do it.

“That means we have some very lively conversations! They can get a bit crazy at times actually, but that’s because they have really big ideas,” she said. “It’s a good bunch.”

And the event itself?

“Oh, we’re full up,” she continued. “They’ll (vendor booths) will fill the gymnasium, they’ll fill the halls, they’ll fill the cafeteria. We have almost 60 vendors this year!”

This is the fifth year for the very popular Holiday Expo. Taking a break one year because of church construction, Witkemper has overseen the event since its inception.

Proceeds from the expo help the student council pay for programming at the school.

“We started it as a fundraiser for the church construction. We wanted the kids to be able to do something so they could say they helped build the church, and it’s just happened every year since,” Witkemper said. “Now, it allows them to bring a lot of nice programs to the school.”

And the selection?

Crafters sharing their wares, home decor, bakers of pies and other sweet treats, handmade American Girl doll clothing, direct sale vendors and others are all represented.

“It’s just everything,” Witkemper said.

There will be prizes for which all can register. There will also be some “blue light specials.”

“Everyone remembers Kmart’s blue light specials, right? The students run to that booth and start the time and I announce it over the loud-speakers,” Witkemper said with a laugh. “It’s just fun, and this will be the biggest year we’ve had!”

There also will be refreshments available for purchase, including Patti Hensley’s locally legendary chicken noodle soup.

The event is free for all.

For more information, call 812-663-2804 or email holidayexpo@stmarysgreensburg

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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