The annual St. Nicholas Faire is from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Saturday, December 1 at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. In addition to the famous Cathedral Mice made by the Mouse Factory (and a raffle to get your own mouse if you didn't pre-order), there is a Silent Auction, baked goods, a cookie walk, and crafts. Come visit and enjoy!
The Mouse Factory started in 1960, when parishioner Dorothy Duket was looking for a craft to make and sell at the annual St. Nicholas Faire. She made 25 little "mice" dressed as elegant ladies, but had some misgivings as to how they would sell. They were quickly sold for $1.00 each. The next year she made mice dressed as members of the choir. At the faire she was asked if the mice from last year were available, and she realized she had a collectible item going. Parishioners were enlisted to help in the production and it became a fund raising effort to provide funds to restore and maintain the buildings at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul campus.
Today, there are dozens of volunteers who do their part to create about 3,000 mice per year, with a new character added each year. Ideas for the characters come from the volunteers as well as the many people who collect the mice. The mice are created using an assembly line type production. The pieces are cut using punch dies at a local factory, then they go to the hands of our workers. The pieces are sorted and packaged, they then go through the various hands of sewers, stuffers, assemblers, facers, and dressers. There is a second "line" of people who make the clothing and props.
Orders are taken each year in December through February for distribution the first week in December and at our St. Nicholas Faire on the first Saturday. Mice are shipped all over the United States, and even have customers overseas. see a list and pictures of past mice here.