Weekend brings pair of bountiful bazaars to the ’Boat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As the holiday season gets closer by the hour, local artisans are adding the finishing touches to their newest batch of crafts and stocking items for the late-autumn, gift-buying rush. On Saturday, Nov. 23, people in Steamboat Springs will have the chance to explore dozens of booths at two holiday bazaars, supporting Yampa Valley makers as well as several causes and organizations.
Work of Human Hands Holiday Bazaar
What: 22nd annual Work of Human Hands Holiday Bazaar
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
Where: Holy Name Catholic Church, 546 Oak St.
The 22nd annual Work of Human Hands Holiday Bazaar offers colorful crafts from across the world, including Guatemala, Peru, India, Bangladesh and the West Bank. Such items range from bags and purses to carvings and baskets, serving dishes to pillows, dolls to mittens, and olive oils to pestos to bean soups.
After artisans are finished with these items, Serrv — Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation — International collects and brings the items to the U.S., prices them and packages them. Organizers of the bazaar then purchase the items through Catholic Relief Services – Consignment. After Saturday’s bazaar, bazaar organizers send 90 percent of the proceeds back to CRS and Serrv, which allocate the funds back to the villages where the crafts were made. The other 10 percent of the bazaar’s profits stay in Routt County and will be divided between the Yampa Valley Autism Program, Selah and local families in need.
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Alongside items from thousands of miles away, Work of Human Hands also offers gifts from closer to home. Rachel’s BBQ, of South Routt, will offer food, and a Craig-based crafter will sell baby blankets. Local 12-year-old photographer Nikita Andre will sell her photography and local 9-year-old Maren Sachs will sell hand-decorated gloves and other ice skating items as Maren’s Mercantile to fundraise for Steamboat Skating Club’s scholarship fund. Other local artisans will sell beeswax candles, jams and jellies, bath and body items, jewelry, paintings, glass-blown art, scarves, holiday cards and decorations and more — all hand-crafted.
“It’s a win-win situation,” said bazaar organizer Diane Anderson. “We’re providing items that people want, and we’re helping monetarily with the money we raise, and we’re helping the people who make these items.”
The bazaar is rounded out by a soup luncheon and bake sale, with cookies donated by Teresa DiStefano of Grandma’s Sweets, benefiting the Sancy Shaw Memorial Fund. The event also features face painting and live music.
This Saturday’s bazaar marks the event’s 22nd year, which may also be its last. The CRS Consignment program, which originally reached out to Holy Name about selling ethical trade items, is scheduled to close its doors on Dec. 31 after 25 years. While Serrv’s program will continue functioning, the lack of intermediary between Serrv and the Work of Human Hands Holiday Bazaar might be too large a challenge for the bazaar to continue past.
“This could very well be our last year doing (the bazaar),” Anderson said.
Christmas Bazaar at Concordia Lutheran Church
What: Christmas Bazaar
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 23
Where: Concordia Lutheran Church, 755 Concordia Lane
Also on Saturday, Concordia Lutheran Church will host its 36th annual Christmas Bazaar.
One of the bazaar’s consistent top sellers is lefse, a Norweigen flatbread.
“Every year, something like 20 people get together on a Sunday and make (lefse),” said church administrator Shannon Smith.
Also for sale will be Christmas and autumn-themed decor, fancy Christmas cookies by the pound, chocolate-dipped pretzels, bags of seasoned nuts and lots of Christmas crafts.
All items are created by bazaar organizers, who volunteer their time and often pay for their own supplies. One-hundred percent of the sales proceeds support local, national and international Christian missions, as well as LiftUp of Routt County, Sk8 Church and Selah. The bazaar is one of the church’s most significant fundraisers of the year, Smith said.
“All of the women have a real passion for raising funds for missions,” Smith said.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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