By Dijon Rolle, USAG Kaiserslautern Public AffairsJune 11, 2013
KAISERSLAUTERN - Polish pottery, blueberry potpourri , Persian rugs, cast-iron pots, chocolates, candied peanuts and more greeted visitors venturing to the garrison's annual summer bazaar June 7-9 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
Shoppers and strollers flooded the special events warehouse to purchase goods from some 75 vendors from around the world.
Shopper Melody Arnold said she especially enjoyed combing through the vast array of international items bought in for the bazaar. Arnold and her husband have resided in the Kaiserslautern military community for a little less than a year and this is our third bazaar.
"It's a very unique opportunity to see things from all over the world and I can't actually travel to them so it's great that they bought them to us," Arnold said
"I got a basket, a colander and I've tasted different jellies, a little bit of wine, a little cheese and I love it all. I've already asked about the date for the next one … keep bringing them back," she said.
One of the most popular booths at the bazaar was the Old Dutch Cheese Company, where vendor Jacobina Kosman, lined her table with samples of 25 different types of gouda cheese from spicy jalapeño to a bright green wasabi. She and her husband hail from Holland and have traveled the bazaar circuit for nearly 25 years.
"It started in the early years when we were invited to an event in , Netherlands, and then you get invited to other ones. My husband and I do it together and we just liked it and we wanted to keep coming," Kosman said.
"The atmosphere. We make the customers happy and they like to see us and a lot of them already know us. It makes us feel happy to do this service."
That's good news for Tatia Kruegar, Budget Assistant for Morale, Welfare and Recreation Kaiserslautern Financial Management.
Kruegar and an army of workers labor around the clock to ensure each bazaar goes as smoothly as possible from start to finish. The team handles everything from logistics to distributing bunches of bright helium balloons to some of the younger stroller-bound "shoppers."
"We do this for the Soldiers and the KMC military families that may not have the opportunity to travel to these locations," Kruegar said. "A lot of our vendors come from outside of Germany. We have Italian vendors here, Belgian vendors and these are things that are not part of the local setting around Kaiserslautern. It brings it all together in one central place where KMC members can shop."
The garrison hosts the community Bazaars each year in March, June and November on ROB.