Three Lake Norman area churches will host bazaars next weekend to raise money for the community and for church programs.
"This is a day you can hit the bazaars in (the area)," said Pam Hester, chairwoman of the St. Mark Catholic Church Christmas bazaar. "They're all different in flavor and atmosphere. We said, 'Let's make it a community event rather than competing for dollars.' "
St. Mark and Hopewell Presbyterian in Huntersville and Mt. Zion United Methodist in Cornelius all will hold their annual bazaars on Saturday.
Each sale features different vendors and homemade items. Special events at the sales include pony rides, raffles, card-writing for military service people and a home-cooked breakfast.
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Joan Andersen likens the ceremonial cutting of the red ribbon, which opens the Hopewell Annual Holiday Bazaar, to the morning after Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart. Many shoppers run to homemade yeast rolls, buttermints and canned food.
The Hopewell bazaar, now in its 23rd year, is known for its large selection of homemade crafts and food. Church members begin canning and making crafts months before the sale.
"You need to come early," Andersen said. "Some things sell out quickly."
Homemade items include jellies, canned vegetables, chicken pot pies, cakes, Christmas decorations and crocheted dish cloths.
This year, the church also is selling calendars with pictures of the church, organic ground coffee from Nicaragua and coffee mugs featuring a sketch of the church.
Money raised from the bazaar and a silent auction goes toward a need in the church. In the past, proceeds have paid for recarpeting the church sanctuary and helping families who are struggling financially.
A home-cooked breakfast will be served, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and the bazaar will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Hopewell Presbyterian is at 10500 Beatties Ford Road in Huntersville.
Mt. Zion UMC
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church's annual Arts, Crafts & Gifts Show will feature 35 vendors and a variety of homemade items.
The show started about 12 years ago as a craft bazaar, but it has evolved into a vendor show, said organizer Ginger Andersen, Joan Andersen's daughter.
Some church members still provide homemade crafts, including a 94-year-old woman who makes dolls and a woodturner, Andersen said. Other items include handmade aprons, nativity scenes and Christmas ornaments.
Vendors range from Mary Kay to Pampered Chef, Andersen said. Other vendors will sell jewelry, toys, spices and dips and candles.
Children can have their pictures taken with Santa, who will attend the sale on Friday and Saturday. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be sold, and shoppers can take home pies and other baked goods.
The money raised from the show goes toward needs in the community, Andersen said.
The show will be open 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Zion United Methodist, 19600 Zion St. in Cornelius.
Details: www.mtzionumc.net for more information.
St. Mark Catholic
St. Mark Catholic Church will give money raised from its Christmas bazaar to its building fund, which is paying for the church's new sanctuary.
The bazaar will have more than 50 booths, including vendors and handmade items. The sale's popular "destination booth" will offer used handbags, Hester said.
Children can shop for their parents and siblings in a special children's area. Santa's elves, which double as eighth-graders, help children pick out gifts and stick to their budget.
"It's a way to let them pick out something without mom or dad being there," Hester said.
The sale also will feature an elf adoption booth that plays off the popular "Elf on the Shelf" phenomenon and a booth where shoppers can pay $1 to write a card for a military service person or send the service person a blank card, which he or she could then send home to a loved one. The cards are handmade by St. Mark teenagers.
The bazaar also will have pony rides, door prizes, a raffle and a bake sale. Admission is $1 for adults.
The bazaar will be open from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday. St. Mark is at 14740 Stumptown Road in Huntersville.