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Last call for Bling & Chocolate tickets

More than half of the tickets available for the 2018 Bling & Chocolate fundraiser at the Goodhue County History Center have been claimed. The 15 decorated tables will accommodate only 100 people.

The 12th annual event will be1:30-4 p.m. Feb. 11, but people are invited to come anytime after 1 p.m. for a preview of the silent and oral auction items.

"Hearts and Flowers" is theme for the 2018 event, which falls just a few days before Valentine's Day. Women and girls are welcome to come and choose their own Valentine's, plus men are welcome to come and pick out some "bling" and sweets for their sweethearts.

Bling & Chocolate has followed a successful formula for more than a decade. During the year, volunteers and staff secure vintage and contemporary, costume and designer jewelry for the sales.

Many items are donated by local residents, including vintage pieces that are highly prized by collectors.

About a dozen special items will be featured on the oral auction, which is chaired this year by Ann-Marie Rose and will be conducted by Dick Houghton.

Among the spotlighted pieces will be a 2003 Tiffany and Company silver bracelet, a gold heart set with diamonds, and a pair of David Yurman earrings in gold and silver with amethysts and peridots. Gold and silver, pearls and gemstones all are represented in other pieces.

Also on the oral auction will be some special experiences. The St. James Hotel has donated an overnight Victorian Getaway package complete with meals, or guests may choose to bid on use of a condo on Lake Pepin. The Bluff Country yoga package is back, too.

The silent auction, which will have approximately 100 lots, also will feature numerous jewelry items made of sterling silver and a variety of gemstones as well as contemporary pieces. Vintage fans will find a selection of Weiss pins and earrings, other collectible sets, and a hatpin holder that will be sold with hatpins and a chapeau.

In addition, the sale will offer evening bags and purses, silk scarves and other collectible accessories. Local shops are known to donate cakes, chocolates and other treats, and one donor is providing jars of jewelry-making beads.

New this year will be "jewelry by the pound." Instead of offering grab bags, there will be pre-weighed bags containing a selection of treasures sold by the pound.

As always, desserts will be provided. For the first time, Jenny Lind Bakery is catering the event. Tables also will have nuts or candies to nibble between servings of bars and cakes. Coffee and wine will be served.

According to "Bling" tradition, each of the 15 tables will have its own hostess, who will decorate her table with linens and crystal, china and silver. Scott Adkisson will be master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $25; they are available at the museum, 1166 Oak St.; by calling 651-388-6024; or by going online to The event is open to the public.