City’s Longest Running Bazaar Brings Community Together

A quiet little mouse scampering about the nooks and crannies of
Gilroy at all hours gets to see more than just the usual everyday
happenings. If you could go on a mouse ride-along, you would see
Santa’s elves toiling away at this very moment behind the
scenes.
A quiet little mouse scampering about the nooks and crannies of Gilroy at all hours gets to see more than just the usual everyday happenings. If you could go on a mouse ride-along, you would see Santa’s elves toiling away at this very moment behind the scenes.

Once again it’s holiday craft festival time, and the wondrous Christmas Bazaar at the Methodist Church on the corner of Fourth and Church streets has the historical distinction of being the longest continuously running one in our fair city. This is the 71st year that the hands of Methodist women have quilted, sewn, embroidered, decorated, cooked, baked, canned, pickled, played, potted, mixed, fudged, bottled, preserved, painted, macraméd, knitted, glued, crocheted, chutneyed, and jammed.

Not to be left out, the men of Gilroy contribute as well. Rotarian Mike Salewske handcrafts fine wooden pens in the classic Parker style. Not to be outdone, apiarist Herb Edde will be bringing jars of “Grandpa’s Honey” fresh from the hive. Allen Douglas and Eunice Coates plan to play Christmas carols.

One of the most popular parts of the Bazaar is the soup and pie luncheon which costs a mere five bucks. The homemade chowder, white bean, vegetable beef, split pea, chicken, and Abundiga (Mexican meatball) soups are local favorites. Young ladies from the community waitress (often their first experience) at the luncheon.

Mary Magnuson and Mary Ernest may have moved away from Gilroy, but these two Marys still send Christmas cheer back to Gilroy each year. This year Mary Magnuson of Florida (in spite of suffering hurricane damage) has taken large pine cones and by working in tiny seashells she found along Florida’s shore into the cone branches, she has made each cone look like a Christmas tree.

Mary Ernest sends a box of handmade baby blankets, lap robes, tablecloths, aprons, eyeglass cases, etc., from Poplar, Missouri, each year.

Marilyn Schlesinger, quilter extraordinaire, has created a Japanese-fold quilt for this year’s raffle. This reversible quilt is stunning in shades of green with a pattern suggesting pinwheels. Claudia Salewske’s chutneys and jams are always a hit, and this year’s “parsonage plum jam” has been described as “pretty darn tasty.”

Barbara Gailey, also known as the “Bazaar Czarina,” is a former teacher who does a fantastic job of organizing and directing all aspects of the Event.

This year she has added a unique spin to the homemade cakes at the sale. Cake mixes were used, but additional ingredients were added to enhance each cake mix in an original way.

It takes the cooperation of both young and old behind the scenes to make this holiday dream come true, but it just goes to show what is possible when so many different people bring their talents together. All proceeds go to benefit women’s and children’s causes supported by the United Methodist Women. This Christmas they are helping to provide educational toys to the children of the migrant camps in Gilroy.

‘Twas the night before the Bazaar and all through town, not a creature was stirring – except one tiny mouse at the Methodist Church, who scampered about on a sugar plum search.

The Bazaar will be held Saturday at the United Methodist Church located at Fourth and Church streets from 8:30am until the goodies run out.

Lunch is from 11:30am to 2pm.

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