Over 1,000 visitors, cookies will be at Wonderfest Expo

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Photo provided (From left): Beloit Junior Women's Club members Beth Wolf, Kathy Weiser, Julie Rath and Sue Fallin roll out dough for the 1,000 sugar cookies they sell at WonderFest. They invite everyone to come to the big event to shop, celebrate and taste the succulent cookies.

BELOIT - More than 1,000 visitors will meet up with more than 1,000 of Beloit's finest cookies at the 37th Annual Wonderfest Arts and Crafts Expo.

Scheduled for 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday at Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 Fourth St., the event will feature its holiday Bake Shoppe with homemade cookies as well as more than 50 vendors selling home decor, jewelry, tasty treats, clothing items and more. Admission is $2.

"It's a great way to kick off the holiday season," said Wonderfest Chairperson Tina Tillery. "Last year we had 800 to 1,000 people. It gets people in the mood to go shopping."

About 1,000 sugar cookies will tempt visitors and the event is hoped to raise around $10,000 to be given to local charities.

The event features more than 50 raffle baskets.

In addition to the famous sugar cookies, the event has brownies, pumpkin bars and other baked goods as well as lunch items such as taco boats, pulled pork, chips, coffee and donuts.

Perhaps the most magical part of the event is the many cookies and the generous hands which help to bake and decorate them.

"Our cookies are famous at the Wonderfest Event, selling out annually by 1 p.m.," said Beloit Junior Women's Club Media Chairperson Debbie Rykowski.

David Siekierski, owner of Bagels 'n More, donates the ingredients and stirs up the dough for the club in his big baking batter machines and allows the club to come into his store after hours to roll out, cut out and bake the cookies.

"Dave Siekierski has been donating the ingredients for our cookies and the use of his facility for many, many years to our club - without Dave this overwhelming task would not be as successful as it is - we thank Dave for the generous donation and use of his facility," Rykowski said.

Tillery said the sugar cookies come in an array of shapes and colors, including sports themes with representation of the Packers and Bears.

Most all club members pitch in Wonderfest, including some help from husbands setting up at the event.

Beloit Junior Women's Club has about 35 to 40 members.

The group raise money for the community through events and has a scholarship program. Women are always encouraged to consider joining.

"We have such a great group of women, and we all really enjoy spending time together," Tillery said.

However, if ladies don't have time for full membership the club is always open to visiting volunteers for its Wonderfest Expo of the fun evening of cookie frosting.

For more information people can contact Tillery at 815-988-1031.

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