Colder days and longer nights signal the return of the centuries-old tradition of parish holiday bazaars and craft fairs. In the Archdiocese of Anchorage, as in parishes across much of the world, these annual events are major fundraisers, with proceeds going towards Catholic schools, building projects, altar linens, educational scholarships, charitable organizations and other outreaches. Area Catholics can assist parishes and their various outreaches while also getting a jump on Christmas shopping by patronizing these unique events.
For more than 700 years crafters have been setting up tables to hock handmade goods, from wooden toys and locally made clothes. The practice dates back to at least the 13th and 14th centuries when churchyards held community bonfires with fairs charging a nominal fee for vendors to sell their wares.
The following is a list of a number of local bazaars that have been announced to date. To learn about additional bazaars, contact nearby parishes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
(3900 Wisconsin Street, Anchorage)
Saturday, Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 30 vendor booths will offer handmade jewelry, hats, mittens, as well as antiques and cosmetics. Homemade breakfast and lunch items are available for purchase. Contact John Fleming, 258-2000, ext. 207.
Lumen Christi High School
(8110 Jewel Lake Road, Anchorage)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. One of the larger bazaars that can hold as many as 100 booths with proceeds from the event going to benefit Lumen Christi High School. A well-stocked snack bar on location offers shoppers and vendors a chance to buy lunch items. Call 336-2384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
(2901 Huffman Road, Anchorage)
Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Baked goods and handcrafted items by the church’s Magi Group are featured, with proceeds donated to parish projects and various charities. More than 80 vendor booths are expected to be selling ornaments, jewelry, and a wide variety of items. Cinnamon rolls, hot dogs and many other food items will be available. Contact Shirley Germaine at 345-1628.
St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Church
(2200 Arctic Blvd., Anchorage)
Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This Byzantine Eastern rite Catholic church features a wide selection of icons and Eastern European foods and crafts. Contact Judy Bich at 333-4183.
St. Bernard Church
Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This event takes place in downtown Talkeetna at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar. Many local artists and craftspeople offer a variety of handcrafted items and there is a silent auction and a drawing to raise money for designated charities. Lunch is available. Contact D.D. at 733-1212.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
(222 W. Redoubt Ave., Soldotna)
This two-day event consists of a carnival in the Redemptorist Center, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., and “Quilt Bingo” in Fireweed Friendship Hall, featuring quilts created by parishioners, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24. A teen dance will also take place, 6-9 p.m., on Friday. On Saturday, Oct. 25, the carnival continues, 1-4 p.m., followed by the Oktoberfest dinner and a live and silent auction from 6-9 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the parish’s building fund. Contact Marlys Verba at 262-4749 ext. 4.
St. Anthony Church
(825 S. Klevin Street, Anchorage)
Saturday, Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. About 40 vendors will offer hand-tied fleece blankets, Native jewelry, religious items and other crafts. A silent auction and a Christmas room with new and gently used decorative items, are featured. Homemade Filipino and other foods are available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the parish’s Catholic school scholarship fund and other parish needs. Contact Mary Snowball at 337-5370.
Holy Family Cathedral
(800 W. 5th Ave., Anchorage)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The women of Holy Family will offer handcrafted items and baked goods as well as a white elephant sale. Several vendors and the Catholic Daughters will sell a variety of handcrafted and other goods. Toys by Hope Cottages residents will be featured. Money raised will provide funeral receptions for those who cannot afford them. Contact Holy Family Cathedral at 276-3455.
St. Michael Church
(432 E. Fireweed Lane, Palmer)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is the fourth annual craft fair. Contact Jayme Von Holle at 745-3229.
Sacred Heart Church
(1201 E. Bogard Road, Wasilla)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Saint Jude Quilt Group sponsors this event, which takes place in the All Saints Center. Handmade quilts are featured as well as several booths offering a variety of goods. Proceeds benefit the parish, hospitality ministry, and the quilters who create quilts for each of the newly baptized. Contact Sacred Heart at 376-5087.
St. Mary Church
(2932 Mill Bay Road, Kodiak)
Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The annual Christmas bazaar features “Cookies by the Pound” and is a benefit for the parish school. Contact Jennifer Eyles at 486-3513.