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Parks and Recreation Department: 'Santa's Workshop' open today for gift making, wrapping

Skyler Pero, 5, makes a pillow at Santa's Workshop at the Bemidji Public Works building Wednesday afternoon. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper1 / 2
Karen Revering, left, helps 3-year-old Cierra Olson make a stain glass Christmas ornament at Santa's Workshop Wednesday afternoon at the Bemidji Public Works building. The city of Bemidji hosted the children's workshop to make pillows, stockings, snowman bobble heads and a variety of ornaments. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper2 / 2

'Twas eight days before Christmas when all through the town, not all presents were wrapped, not all gifts tied down.

This holiday season, the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department wants to make gift-giving a little easier by hosting a two-day "Santa's Workshop" that concludes today from 3:30-6 p.m. at the Public Works Facility, located at 1351 Fifth Street N.W. in Bemidji.

For $5, a person can make two crafts, such as scarves, picture frames, pillows or ornaments. There will also be paper bags that can be decorated to put gifts inside.

On Wednesday afternoon, children and families kept busy making their crafts and decorating bags while listening to Christmas music.

Tiny hands tied knots to seal the edges of a felt pillow, while snowflakes were mixed with jingle bells adorning an ornament. Picture frames and snowmen were painted and stickered, and stockings and scarves were glued and tidied.

"This is the first year we've had this event," said Samantha Parker, special events coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department. "It's a good thing for the community."

Patti Pero found out about the event through reading a flyer. She brought her children, Skyler Pero, 5, and Gage Pero, 7, to the Wednesday workshop.

"I need all the colors," said Skyler, who was busy dotting her gift bag with blots of paint. Sitting on the chair across the table were two felt pillows she had made with the help of her mother.

"My favorite is my stocking I made," Gage said, with a candy cane in his mouth. He smiled as he helped himself to another candy cane for later.

The workshop is open to the public. Registration in advance is encouraged. Forms can be found online at the Bemidji City Hall and at the Public Works Facility.

"Come in whenever you like and feel free to leave when you need to," Parker said. "We'll have hot chocolate and snacks waiting for you."

Contact Parker at 333-1857 or for more information.