Get ready to discover the commercial and retail businesses of Bonne Terre — and eat cookies while you do it.
The fourth annual Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce Cookie Trail is set for Friday and Saturday. Shari House, owner of Fancy Crow gifts and décor on Raider Road, organizes the cookie trail with a committee who starts early in the summer to plan the perfect, pre-holiday season, retail event.
“So far, we’ve had the highest number of businesses participating this year,” she said. “We’ve really gotten the word out better this year, banners are up and signs are out in various businesses. It’s a great way to find out all the good things Bonne Terre has to offer, get some treats, learn about new services, do some shopping.”
She added the event is free to anyone who participates.
The Cookie Trail begins at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at Shepard House on South West Main Street next to Bonne Terre Memorial Library. Until 3 p.m. on both days, each participant can pick up a Cookie Trail map and a bag, while bag supplies last.
Then, they make their way around Bonne Terre’s participating businesses — retail, services, restaurants, even commercial—and once they’ve visited 11 stops of their choosing, they turn in their collected 11 stamps at the end of the trail, which is Bonne Terre’s new fire station next to Bonne Terre City Hall at 118 N. Allen St.
Those who have collected 11 stamps from the 18 participating spots will have their names entered into a drawing for one of three, $100 Bonne Terre Bucks prizes, good at participating businesses. Those who visit all 18 stops get their name entered a second time in the drawing. The winners will be drawn at First State Community Bank at 3 p.m. on Nov. 13.
A few spots are new this year. Handi-Craft, 1111 Roe St., is offering free factory tours from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, so the public can get a glimpse of an American factory that probably made the can opener sitting in your kitchen drawer right now, among many other everyday items they’ve manufactured over the years.
Ladies of St. Joe Catholic Church Craft Fair will be joining the fun on Saturday.
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“They chose their date so it would be on the cookie trail. They didn’t have to do it, they wanted to, and that was really nice,” House said. “So we’re glad to be including them this year.”
She added that the Bonne Terre Historical Society quilt raffle will be held on Saturday, as well.
House said it doesn’t matter whether one chooses to participate on Friday or Saturday, they’ll still get plenty of treats and still see plenty of impressive businesses in Bonne Terre.
“If you’ll notice, some businesses are open on Friday only, some are open on Saturday only, but we’ve made sure that enough spots are open each day so that everyone can accumulate 11 stamps, whether they work on Friday and wait until Saturday, or whether they can’t wait and want to venture out on Friday,” said.
House said she and the committee have tried to create the event in a way they imagine they would want to enjoy it, and while she doesn’t get to actually make the rounds as a participant, as a business owner she enjoys the busyness and social whirl.
“Since I don’t get to be a participant on the trail, I enjoy the new people I get to meet who say ‘oh, I didn’t even know you were here, I’m so glad I stopped by,’” she said. “It’s meeting new people, getting to know new faces, and it’s kind of a nice get-ready-for-Christmas kind of event. You get to shop local, find interesting things for presents, and you get treats! You can’t go wrong with cookies.”
Those participating in the walk include Bonne Terre Historical Society, Bonne Terre Memorial Library, The Space Museum, the Well Life Center, First State Community Bank, CB’s $3 and Below, Ladies of St. Joseph Craft Fair, Bonne Terre Senior Nutrition Center, The Market at Terre Du Lac, La Petite Salle de Bonne Terre, The Fancy Crow, Potential Therapy Services, B&D Auto Parts, Community Chest Thrift Store, Peterson Feed & Farm, Save-A-Lot, Bullseye Equipment & Party Rental, Turkey Holler Bed & Breakfast, Hub’s Pub & Grill, and Big River/Bonne Terre Fire Department.
Sponsors and supporters for the Cookie Trail include City of Bonne Terre, First State Community Bank, Hub’s Pub, Turkey Holler Bed and Breakfast, A-1 Home Care, Save-A-Lot, The Market at Terre Du Lac, B&D Auto Parts and Bullseye Equipment and Tool Rental.