By Catherine Ross (Fort Carson)November 8, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Nearly 400 Fort Carson community members got in some early holiday shopping at the Mountain Post Spouses Club's Holiday Bazaar Nov. 2 at the Elkhorn Conference Center.
The bazaar filled the Elkhorn with activity, with the majority of the space taken up by more than 40 vendors from across Colorado.
Vendors included crafters offering handmade and unique crafts, such as some made-to-order items and others from franchised home-based businesses. The remaining space was filled with a lunch bistro and activities for children such as crafts, face-painting and a visit with Santa.
Bags filled with purchases in hand, shopper Randi Flaugh was pleased with the bazaar.
"I found some great Christmas presents for my family, which is what I was looking for," said Flaugh. "Prices seem to be a lot more decent than at craft fairs off post."
The holiday bazaar replaces the craft fair that the MPSC has hosted in the past, said event organizer and MPSC member Valerie Hodges.
"We wanted to rebrand and revamp the craft fair and move it closer to the holidays," she said. "The turnout is good," said Hodges, noting the number of attendees was tracked by raffle tickets given for each paid entrance fee.
Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the MPSC's scholarship fund and local charities.
Military spouse and Whoos Creative vendor Joanna Zubiate, was also pleased with the turnout.
"So far, so good," she said. "I'm seeing more people than I did at the Special Events Center in April at the craft fair."
Every 15 minutes a raffle winner was announced over the loudspeaker; vendors participating in the bazaar donated items to be raffled off.
"It's really come together. Vendors have said they are doing really well," Hodges said, explaining some vendors had to rearrange items on their tables to fill empty spaces resulting from high sales volumes. "That's a good problem to have."
With the success of this year's holiday bazaar, Hodges said the MPSC is already planning for a two-day event next year.
"We want it to be even bigger and better," she said.