While I am sure other areas have this phenomenon, I swear I truly live in the land of the church bazaar. For those of you unfamiliar, a church bazaar – at least in the great Binghamton, NY area – is a fund raiser for whatever church it is held at. Normally, it includes a tent with children’s games, a tent with food, a tent with live entertainment, a tent with alcohol (it is well-known around here which bazaars are easiest to get served if you are underage which is a problem), a tent with gambling or games of chance. Most also include a tent with some sort of teen entertainment and a tent with carnival foods – sno cones, cotton candy, pretzels. Also, this is a major fund raiser. In most cases, a church bazaar will bring in about $30,000 over the course of a two or three day stint.
This weekend starts the bazaar circuit in our area. Starting yesterday, the Greek Orthodox church in a local area has a Greek bazaar. I usually make this a lunch stop as it is not as crowded and the food is the highlight and wonderful! Tonight is the start of the St. Joseph’s bazaar. Evidently, I know this but my children have not yet figured it out as they have not asked to go. St. Anthony’s will be soon. Our Lady of Angels’s is at the end of the month. This is a summer long phenomenon in the area. I am not sure if there is a weekend without a church bazaar until late summer but they may, this year as OLA moved theirs to the end of June, be done by mid-July this year. The stand out is the Oktoberfest at Most Holy Rosary which is in October.
These events are great ways to have family fun. They are also great teaching tools. Volunteer to work a church bazaar. Teach your kids to volunteer.