Benzonia’s Holiday Party!

This past weekend, Making in Michigan Libraries took to Benzonia for a fantastic winter extravaganza! We spent a wonderful weekend helping out at Benzonia’s annual Holiday Party joined by Tori Culler and Caroline Wack from our Michigan Makers project.

Benzonia has a lovely tradition of hosting a holiday party to celebrate the approaching holiday season. The event started with baked goods, punch, and a puppet show hosted, as always, by Dr. Fizz and Boomer the Rat. The puppets asked the audience about their holiday traditions and sang Christmas carols. In case you missed it, Boomer likes all things cheese during the holidays.

After the puppet show came a fantastic balloon animal making event with Neil Sauter, the Michigan Stilt Walker!


Neil made reindeer balloon animals and other festive creations. He also taught the kids how to shape the balloons as well — all from his high-altitude position. He even made balloon creations upon request during the final hour of the event.

The final hour was a whirlwind … kids could get a custom balloon creation from Neil, get their photo taken with an elf straight from the Detroit Parade Company, and let their creativity fly. BPL’s Repurposeful Librarians organized an ornament and craft workshop on one side of the room, and we hosted a gift making and wrapping workshop, bringing back some favorite materials (like making your own LED-illuminated holiday card and using paint pens to create a one-of-a-kind glass votive holder) and adding some new ones (like decorating chalkboard frames for loved ones).

Make your own LED light up Christmas cards with Tori!
Decorating chalkboard frames and plaques in front; glass decorating with paint markers in back
Chalkboard frame decorating
Twin artists showing off their work

After everyone was done decorating and crafting  they wrapped their gifts at the gift wrapping station with Caroline so they could give it to someone they care for later.

When we weren’t creating things, we enjoyed admiring Beulah’s decorated holiday windows, doing a little holiday shopping from local artists, and cheering on the holiday parade. It was a wonderful and creative weekend.