Craft bazaar offers unique gifts

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With the holidays right around the corner, it’s not too early to start checking off your gift list.

The Allen County Fairgrounds Craft Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 is a great opportunity to find unique and hand-crafted gifts while supporting local artisans and small businesses.

“I enjoy seeing all the quality items that people have hand made in this locale,” said Sheila Riley, bazaar coordinator.

Riley, who has been involved with the bazaar for two years, said this year will be the sixth annual fall craft and gift bazaar. The event is a fundraiser for the Allen County Fairgrounds. Initially built to serve as home to the Allen Country Fair and a resource for Allen County 4-H, it has grown to offer a host of rental facilities for both public and private events.

“We are a nonprofit and receive no government funds,” she said.

Visitors are invited to explore the bazaar and discover crafts and products that might otherwise only be available at a product party such as a Pampered Chef gathering. This gives customers the opportunity to try samples or see product demonstrations.

“We have a wide variety of handmade items, quilts, baby garments, decor items, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, purses, children’s toys (and more),” Riley said. “We also have some direct sales items such as Pampered Chef, Avon, Pink Zebra, Thirty-One Gifts, Tastefully Simple, Essential Oils and other quality gift items.”

The event has grown each year and this year is no different with bazaar coordinators expecting to host about 90 different vendors. Booths will be set up inside two connected fairgrounds buildings, which are climate controlled.

The event brings together a diverse range of vendors. Shoppers will have the opportunity to find something for everyone on their gift list. Local vendor Read Me Again Books will offer like-new children’s books at an affordable price. The business also offers a book club subscription for children age 0-10 years old. Each month, books are selected to meet the child’s age level and interests.

Local vendor Wallaby Knits will also set up shop at the bazaar, offering hand-knit accessories like hats and scarves for all ages.

A lunch counter will offer a menu of soups and sandwiches for customers who want to take a break from shopping.

All ages are welcome at the event. Admission and parking are free. Shoppers will have a chance to win door prizes each hour.

According to the event’s website, coordinators are exploring the possibility of adding a spring craft bazaar to the Allen County Fairgrounds’ roster. They are currently gauging vendor interest in the opportunity.

For more information about the craft bazaar or becoming a vendor, visit allencountyfairgroundsin.com/events/craft-bazaar.