Celebrating the Season: A Look Back at Tinsel & Treasures
Each September, Junior League of Lafayette kicks off its community’s holiday season with the annual Tinsel & Treasures holiday market. Merchants from across the country descend on the CAJUNDOME Convention Center with new tinsel in tow. Acadiana bustles with anticipation of what treasures await, purchasing their shopping and event tickets in advance.
It’s a magical time, fueled by a force of good, backed by a business community of sponsor partners, and unified by more than 600 Junior League of Lafayette women.
Every year since 1994, the Tinsel & Treasures Committee puts the tasks, partnerships, and details in motion a year in advance to provide a unique shopping experience. After going all-virtual last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Tinsel & Treasures Chair Angela Navarre and Step-Up Chair Katie Dubois said they were “ecstatic” to be able to bring this magical event back in person along with another year of a virtual market.
“It was very challenging for most of us because we missed last year as our training year,” said 2022-2023 Tinsel & Treasures Chair Katie Dubois. “But we already know what our purpose is, and though obstacles may arise, we are resilient women, and we find a way to persevere.”
And that they did.
More than 6,800 guests shopped the CAJUNDOME in-person market featuring 116 merchant booths September 23-25. The shopping continued with our online market from September 27-October 3. Everyone on anyone’s shopping list could delight in the merchandise found at these beautiful booths. There were gifts for the hunter, the chef, the sweet-toothed, the fashionista, the sportsman, the teenager, the toddler, and the tween.
Shoppers also had the opportunity to indulge in a variety of events that lit up this three-day shopping extravaganza’s itinerary. While the annual Tinsel & Treasures kick-off party, Preview Party, was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the popular Preferred Shopping event kicked off the weekend on September 23. This crowd-free shopping event, sponsored by Joseph & Swan Eye Center, gave early shoppers an exclusive time to shop before the rush of the grand opening. Early shoppers also enjoyed complimentary breakfast and door prize giveaways.
On September 24, Tinsel & Treasures’ Ladies’ Night, sponsored by Paul’s Jewelry, hosted a sold out crowd. This popular event is a favorite for anyone who enjoys shopping with music and specialty cocktails. New this year, the League also offered VIP access for those who purchased a Ladies’ Night Experience bag full of specialty items and goodies.
Merry Mimosas event kicked off Saturday’s shopping palooza for guests, accompanied by a live jazz trio and mimosas for purchase. It culminated with the Merry Mimosa Raffle drawing where a winner walked away with a Yellow Gold, Multi-Row Diamond Bracelet, donated by event sponsor Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry and valued at $3,150.
One of the most anticipated events of every Tinsel & Treasures experience is drawing the winners of the Sparkle & Shine Raffle, sponsored by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. The $10 tickets gave participants a chance to win $10,000 cash or a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry $10,000 shopping spree, donated by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. Debbie Olivier, winner of the $10,000 cash, and Donna Delahoussaye, winner of the shopping spree, were announced September 25 out of a drawing of 4,905 entries.
Thanks to sponsor Dr. John A. Hendry, DDS, Mrs. Claus gave a special visit during Tinsel & Treasures Cocoa with Mrs. Claus. Surrounded by eager children, Mrs. Claus shared cups of hot cocoa over storytelling and caroling with children and shoppers on September 23.
And what holiday experience would be complete without a very special visit from Santa himself? During Santa Sneak Peek, sponsored by Acadiana Pediatric Dentistry, participants were given a chance to take a picture with Santa, and each went home with a photograph and a memory to last a lifetime.
The annual Tinsel & Treasures holiday market has raised almost $7 million since 1994, all to make an impact in the lives of women in the community, supporting the Mission of Junior League of Lafayette. While Tinsel & Treasures’ backdrop has the familiar bustle of Junior League of Lafayette women volunteers in aprons, it’s also a time of unity, fulfillment, and impact.
“Tinsel & Treasures supports Junior League of Lafayette’s Mission in several ways,” said Dubois. “The knowledge the committee members gain is definitely developing the potential of women and it gives us training in various ways. With the funds raised, we help to improve the community in countless ways.”