UMC bazaar prep underway
Work on the annual United Methodist Women’s Bazaar, which has been going on steadily for several months, soon will reach fever pitch as members of First United Methodist Church join forces to raise money for their missionary work.
Going strong for more than 50 years, the bazaar signals the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season in Demopolis. More than a thousand shoppers attend each year to grab goodies from the Bake Room, eat lunch, buy gifts, take a chance on winning a crocheted afghan or bid on the dozens of specialty items in the silent auction.
The bazaar will be held Wednesday, November 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall.
Among those devoting many hours of their time to the success of the bazaar are the women working for the Home Accents Room.
Cheryl Newell and Carolyn Bell display with pride the items made by hand that will be for sale. They include wreaths, hand-knitted hats and scarves for adults as well knitted caps and booties for babies; baby blankets, hair bands and bows, fleece blankets, embroidered holiday kitchen towels, Christmas totes, Alabama and Auburn baby items and lighted boxes with bows.
Among the more unique items this year are colorful and delicate shadow boxes and Christmas balls and wreaths made by Bell from discarded costume jewelry.
“Carolyn has gotten carried away with the costume jewelry,” said Newell.
The idea for the items came about as the volunteers were cleaning out the craft room. “We unburied things” that they didn’t know they had, explained Bell, and decided to figure out how tot take old things and create new items.
Baby bibs have been a staple of the gift room for many years, but Newell had requests for adult-sized bibs. They have proven very popular, and several more will be available this year.
Sara Peppenhorst is creating embroidered kitchen towels, and items will be for sale that can be monogrammed.
While the Home Accents Room has work space in the education building of the church, most of the items for sale are made by church members and supporters at home and brought to the church when set up for the bazaar begins.
The doors to the bazaar may not open until 10 a.m., but lines to get in form long beforehand. Most of those waiting make a beeline for the Bake Room where hundreds of main dishes and baked goods made by church members are snatched up early. This year Joyce Kerby and Joyce Hitt co-chair the Bake Room.
Shoppers also check out the Attic Treasure rooms where Iona Watts and her committee have collected gently used items for resale.
The Silent Auction, headed by Mary Beth Freeman, offers dozens of specialty items, which have been donated by area businesses, as well as unique gifts offered by church members and groups. Freeman said party catering, desserts for a year, oil changes and Christmas gift wrapping services are among the items up for bid.
“I am always amazed at how generous people are,” Freeman said. “No one ever tells me ‘no’.”
Once all the shopping is done, the day is not over. The bazaar offers its traditional luncheon fare, which has been served to bazaar-goers for decades. The kitchen staff is led by Georgette Griffith and Daphne Glaser.
The lunches, also made by church members, include chicken salad, pimiento cheese sandwiches, pickled peaches, chips and dessert. Plate lunches are $8.
For years Griffith has prepared the pickled peaches herself — all 12 gallons of them. She and her crew make up to 800 sandwiches the day before the bazaar and prepare up to 1,000 plates of food the day of the event.