As daylight wanes and temperatures drop, many Alaskans move indoors to indulge in creative pursuits and get a jump on their holiday shopping. Across the Archdiocese of Anchorage, plans are afoot for parish-based craft fairs and carnivals — activities that make the looming dark days a bit brighter. Such events are significant fundraisers for parish infrastructure projects, community outreach and church ministries. For vendors, craftspeople and artisans bazaar season is a chance to showcase wares, expand customer bases and mingle with others who share diverse interests.
From early October to the weeks just before Christmas, several local parishes feature unique, often handcrafted items, various culinary offerings and a festive atmosphere.
Many of the venues offer space and tables to vendors outside their parishes for a nominal fee or percentage of proceeds.
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
This Kenai parish kicks off the bazaar season by hosting its sixth annual craft bazaar Oct. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the church — 225 S. Spruce Street. Handmade goods, including upcycled sweaters, skirts and mittens, as well as wall hangings, are a hallmark of this event. Proceeds will help fund a new furnace for the church. For more information, please contact Lori Seymour at (907) 283-3315.
OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP
The Soldotna parish’s Fireweed Fellowship Hall (225 Redoubt Ave.) is the site of the church’s premiere two-day fundraising event. Festivities kick off on Oct. 12 with the popular quilt bingo at 5:30 p.m., followed by various games. Food will be available. On Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m., the parish hosts its annual dinner and festivities. A community Halloween carnival will also be a two-day event, beginning Oct. 26, 5-9 p.m., and continuing Oct. 27, 1-4 p.m. Trick-or-treaters can warm up with free hot dogs and hot beverages at an open house Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m. Proceeds from these events support the parish’s Fireweed Fellowship Hall. For more information, contact Marlys Verba at (907) 262-4749.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
This annual event will be in the Lunney Center, located next to the Anchorage church (3900 Wisconsin Ave.) on Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Handmade items, jewelry, collectibles and antiques will be offered by several dozen vendors. Fresh baked rolls will be available for breakfast, and a lunch will be served. The customary white elephant sale will feature Christmas items. Vendor tables are available for $35 each. For more information, contact John Fleming at (907) 230-7783.
NICHOLAS OF MYRA
The Byzantine Catholic Church in Anchorage (2200 Arctic Boulevard) features a traditional Slavic lunch at its annual bazaar on Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church will have a few additional vendors this year and tables are still available for $50 each. This intimate and unique bazaar offers handmade Alaskan crafts and Christmas items, and features a basket raffle. Traditional Polish and Russian ethnic desserts, including nut rolls, will be served. An opportunity to tour the Byzantine-style church is available throughout the day. For more information, contact Judy Bich at (907) 333-4183.
ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Located at 2901 Huffman Road in Anchorage, this popular bazaar and bake sale will be on Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The annual event supports the parish school. It features baked goods, jams, jellies and quality items handcrafted by the church’s Magi Workshop craft group. More than 80 additional vendors will offer banners, books, knitwear, jewelry, artwork and much more.
Homemade cinnamon rolls, chili and hotdogs will be served. Admission and parking is free, and the facility is handicapped accessible. For more information, contact Mary Ann Gilgallon at (206) 883-6767.
HOLY FAMILY CATHEDRAL
The annual Betty Libby Holiday Bazaar, hosted at the historic parish located in downtown Anchorage at 800 W. 5th Ave., is Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items for sale include crafts from local vendors, home baked goods, jams and jellies. Activities for children are included as well as a white elephant sale. Shoppers can purchase a spaghetti lunch prepared by the Knights of Columbus. Proceeds support the Women of Holy Family Ministry, which sponsors funeral receptions and other parish events. For more information, contact Jean Bennett at (907) 748-3474 or (907) 332-2505.
This Talkeetna parish will hold its Christmas holiday bazaar Nov. 3 at the Sheldon Community Arts Hanger (22249 S “D” Street — one block off Main Street) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local crafts, beads, jewelry, ivory, pottery, paintings, photography, fabric art and other unique items will be featured. A Christmas basket door prize and a fun silent auction add to the festivities. Baked goods and lunch will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Covenant House, Charlie Elder House, Brother Francis Shelter, Talkeetna food bank and local outreach. Vendor tables are available for $30 and must be paid in advance. For more information, contact D.D. at (907) 733-1212 or Suzy at (907) 733-2300.
Located at 825 S. Klevin St., this long-standing Anchorage parish hosts its annual holiday bazaar, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise money for parish needs. More than 40 vendors will sell various items, including Alaska Native arts and crafts, as well as clothing and apparel items. Handcrafted items from holiday table runners to crocheted and knitted wares, as well as collectibles, antiques and rare items. A silent auction and Christmas room with new or gently used items are popular features, and free gift wrapping will be provided. Food for sale will include tamales, burgers and vegan entrees. Parish youth will host a Halloween Carnival on Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. The Knights of Columbus host their annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. For information on the bazaar, call Mary Snowball at (907) 486-3513 or contact the parish at (907) 333-5544.
Located at 1201 E. Bogard Road, this Wasilla parish will hold its annual bazaar before and after the weekend masses on Dec. 1-2. The Saint Jude’s Guild sponsors this event that features baby and lap-sized quilts, table runners and placemats. Proceeds benefit the coffee fund and any special needs, particularly funeral and grief support. For more information, contact Jane Holler at (907) 376-3398.
St. MARY’S SCHOOL
The Kodiak elementary school will feature its annual “Cookies by the Pound” fundraiser. Approximately 60 families donate six-dozen homemade cookies, which are then sold by the pound. A wide variety of cookies are available at this popular event, which was yet to be scheduled as of press time. The event will feature local businesses and artists, and a book fair. For the latest information, contact the school at (907) 486-3513.
The Palmer parish, located at 425 Fireweed Lane, is planning its annual craft fair, though no date was set at press time. Featured vendors will have handmade crafts, soaps and honey. Beaded and rockwork items will also be showcased. For more information, contact the parish at (907) 745-3229.