Arts and Entertainment

Kent Parks Holiday bazaar promises something for everyone, Dec. 4-5

Julia Lewis will be a vendor at this year’s Holiday Bazaar at Kent Commons.  Lewis poses with her hand-crafted teddy bears Nov. 20.  She will have her bears for sale and display at the bazaar.   - Charles Cortes, Kent Reporter
Julia Lewis will be a vendor at this year’s Holiday Bazaar at Kent Commons. Lewis poses with her hand-crafted teddy bears Nov. 20. She will have her bears for sale and display at the bazaar.
— image credit: Charles Cortes, Kent Reporter

With 100 vendors selling items ranging from pottery to handmade soaps to gourmet foods, just about anyone can find something of interest during a walk through the Kent Parks Holiday Bazaar.

“It is so big,” said Mark Hendrickson, city cultural programs coordinator, in a phone interview last week. “There is so much variety. Something may not pique your interest, but keep walking and something around the next corner is interesting.”

The 26th annual Kent Parks Holiday Bazaar runs from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at Kent Commons, 525 Fourth Ave. N. Admission is $1. Children ages 12 and younger get in for free.

Nearly 2,000 people typically attend the bazaar each year.

Vendors from throughout Western Washington as well as a few from east of the mountains set up at Kent Commons to sell pottery, wooden toys, gourmet foods, handmade soaps, wreaths, snowmen, stained glass, jewelry, quilts, birdhouses, jams and jellies, stuffed animals and many other items.

“It’s a good group of people with a lot of creativity,” Hendrickson said about the vendors.

About 20 to 30 new vendors join a list of returning vendors each year. A committee of city staff and residents select the vendors based on such factors as quality of products and prices.

Kent vendor Julia Lewis sells handmade teddy bears that are fully jointed. Almond Sensations, a Wenatchee Valley-based family business, will sell gourmet roasted almonds at the bazaar. Glassworks by Babs, of Ellensburg, sells glass items such as vases, lamps and bowls.

“It’s always interesting to see what people are making,” Hendrickson said.

Attendees can enter a free raffle to win items from a vendor. Four raffle tickets are drawn each hour and you must be present to win.

In addition to the vendors, bands and singers often fill the halls and rooms with holiday music.

Panduo, a steel drum duo, plays from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 4. They set up in the hallway outside of the main gym.

“They are really fun,” Hendrickson said. “It’s unexpected because you don’t often hear holiday music from a steel drum, but it’s kind of fun. And the steels drum carry so much, you can hear them wherever you are in the Kent Commons.”

The Silverbells Carolers will perform from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 5. They will roam through the bazaar singing Christmas carols. A few local school groups also are expected to perform, but the names and times of those groups had not yet been determined at press time.

For those who get hungry or want a hot drink, vendors will sell kettle korn, clam chowder, sandwiches, espresso and other items.

But the numerous craft items from so many vendors remain the major attraction to the annual Holiday Bazaar.

“It’s a very personable event,” Hendrickson said. “A lot of people talk to the vendors or see neighbors there. It’s a good kickoff to the holidays.”

For more information, call the city parks department at 253-856-5050.

If you go

What: Kent Parks Holiday Bazaar

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 4, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Kent Commons, 525 Fourth Ave. N.

Cost: $1, children 12 and younger get in for free

Note: Bring a can of food for the Kent Food Bank

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