QUINCY — A Quincy tradition returns Saturday and Sunday with the Quincy Service League’s Christmas Gift Show.
Opening times for the 55th show are 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Saturday at 11am to 4pm Sunday at the Oakley-Lindsay Center.
“It’s a really big tradition in many people’s lives. It’s always been the weekend before Thanksgiving, and for myself and many people I know, it’s the essential kickoff to the holiday season,” said Maggie Flowerree, who directs this year’s show.
More than 80 vendors at the show, sponsored by The Quincy Herald-Whig, will offer items ranging from fine jewelry and Christmas decorations to handmade gifts and sweet and savory treats.
The show continues its own traditions, including lunch served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days in the dining room, while adding a raffle and photos with Santa.
“Santa Claus used to be a tradition at the Christmas gift show when it was in high school, but that disappeared just as things changed,” Flowerree said. “There’s a lot of interest in it, and it’s something we can do to get people even more into the holiday spirit.”
Anyone wanting a photo with Santa is asked to bring a non-perishable food item or make a monetary donation to support Quincy food pantries.
New this year is a raffle for a pendant necklace, donated by Emerald City Jewelers. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the door.
Members of the Service League are busy baking the show’s signature hummingbird, Italian cream and red velvet cakes.
“I’ve never seen grown adults so interested in a cake,” Flowerree said. “Last year alone, I think we sold over 150 cakes, which we cut into 10 pieces. It’s 1,500 pieces of cake, and we always have people at the end of the show who want to buy leftovers.”
Proceeds from the raffle and gift show benefit the community.
“Last year with the proceeds, we gave $30,000 back to the Quincy area community — $23,000 in grants, in-kind grants and $7,000 in scholarships for local high school students,” Flowerree said.
“Not many organizations are able to hold events every year, much less a fundraiser, for 55 years,” she said. “We have really generous people in our community who are interested in shopping and interested in giving back to our community in this way.”