OWATONNA — Though this weekend marks the deer hunting season opener, it won’t be the only hunting that takes place in Owatonna.

Individuals who aren’t bearing firearms can visit the handful of craft shows this weekend with shopping bags on Saturday.

The Owatonna Elks is hosting its 14th annual Holiday Craft Sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Elks in Owatonna to raise money for club improvements.

In the past, the club has used the proceeds to purchase energy-efficient lighting and an entrance monitoring system, and this year the club is looking to do more work for the mid-year Minnesota Elks Association meeting, which will bring about 200 Elks members to Owatonna.

“It’s the opening of deer season, and craft sales give others a chase to do something special and have a day out,” said Janelle Salcedo, an Elks Club committee member. “It’s a time for people to look at crafts and support community organizations. It’s also just fun to be with friends.”

The Elks craft sale will include about 16 vendors selling floral arrangements, holiday decorations, gifts, jewelry, mittens, wood crafts, and other possible holiday gifts.

From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., it will sell homemade caramel and cinnamon rolls with coffee and hot apple cider for $2, and then from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Elks will sell homemade wild rice soup for $3 and sloppy joe baskets for $5.

For the second year, the SeniorPlace will be hosting its craft fair from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SeniorPlace in Owatonna. Baked goods, breads, rolls, homemade canned items will be available. Homemade lefse will also be available, which Judy Erck, SeniorPlace interim director, said is a “big seller.”

“Last year, we sold it all,” Erck said. “It went quick, and we sold a lot.”

The SeniorPlace’s knitting and crochet group will be selling items it has made since January, including about 98 stocking hats, 10 afghans, four slippers, two doll blankets, 15 scarves and other items. The items are available for all ages.

The group also shipped 50 crochet bandages as part of the DOVE program for the leper colonies in Vietnam.

Julie Smith, a member of the group, said she does it because she enjoys knitting and croqueting.

Erck said this is a great time for craft sales because everyone is starting to think about Christmas, stocking stuffers and family gifts.

The proceeds collected at this craft sale will go toward the SeniorPlace, so it can provide more programs, Erck said.

Another stop on the craft sale path on Saturday may be Christmas for Veterans’ 13th annual handmade craft and bake show from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at the Owatonna VFW Hall.

Jolene Patterson, the event’s organizer, said this craft and bake show will have everything for anyone and all the proceeds will be used to buy gifts for all of the veterans living in local nursing homes in Owatonna.

“The proceeds go toward the men and women who have served and protected our rights, and with the election next week, it is even more appropriate to have this sale and show appreciation to them,” Patterson said.

Patterson, who is a U.S. Navy veteran, has been organizing this event with her husband, Paul, the last 13 years because she believes it is important to give back to those who have given so much.

“I receive wish lists from each of the vets, so I can tailor to their needs. It’s kind of neat,” she said. “This is so important because this may be the only gift they receive, which is sad, because they are veterans. We need to do more.”

Patterson said the “Adopt a Veteran” project will also be going on again this year, which is a program designed to give a gift or think about a veteran during the holidays.

She said there will be all sorts of booths to browse artwork, jewelry, embroideries, doll clothes, wood work, homemade dog treats, baked goods and other items.

The VFW Auxiliary will also be serving breakfast and lunch throughout the day.

Donations may be dropped off from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday or during the show.

“There are a lot of wonderful craft shows going on that will meet everyone’s needs,” Patterson said. “It is great to have so many shows on the same day, and the weather will be nice, too.”

The annual Charity Bazaar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Steele County Community Center located at the fairgrounds in Owatonna. Lunch selections will be homemade soups, sloppy joes, and homemade pies.

The event is put on by First Baptist Church of Owatonna, Pontoppidan Lutheran Church of Ellendale, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Meridan and St. John’s Lutheran Church of Claremont.

The Creative Crafts Sale will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Warsinski Chalet at Morehouse Park in Owatonna.

At Creative Crafts Sale there will be various things for sale, including homemade jewelry, wooded painted items, primitive and garden art, painted glassware, painted glassware, painted signs, gift bags, crocheted items, Christmas and fall decorations, sewn baskets, homemade soap bars, and other handcrafted items for sale.

Door prizes will be given away hourly, and make and take classes will be offered.

The Eagles Auxiliary is also hosting a craft sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eagles in Owatonna,

Reach reporter Ashley Stewart at 444-2378 or follow her on Twitter.com @OPPashley

Reach reporter Ashley Stewart at 444-2378 or follow her on Twitter.com @OPPashley

Owatonna People's Press reporter covering Steele County, Blooming Prairie and Medford government as well as health, transportation and community happenings. University of St. Thomas graduate.