Boone United Methodist Church has held an annual bazaar since 1984, and this year, it will not break the tradition. While it started as a small fundraiser, now nearly every room on the ground level of the church is filled with different items, and the rooms are separated into departments. The fun begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.
Teamwork and community are key to a successful bazaar, from start to finish. The kickoff is Unload Sunday, where, following the church service on the Sunday prior to the bazaar, members of the congregation begin unpacking the trailers.
This year, the church has filled nearly two 50-foot trailers to the top, and they’re using Pods to store large furniture. Between 100 and 150 people work all week leading up to the bazaar to arrange, price and organize the items for efficient buying and browsing.
“People have been lined up by 6 a.m.,” said Mary Metzger. “Every year, we think that it’ll be smaller, but every year, it keeps coming. We’re overflowing by the time it starts.”
Specific departments include clothing for men, women and children, toys, accessories such as shoes, purses and jewelry, books, electronics, linens and furniture. There is also a boutique department, where designer/name brand clothing items can be found. Everything else, including small appliances, holiday decorations and home décor will be in the Elegant Junque department. A yard sale section will have tools, hardware and other outdoor items.
The Country Cupboard will be stocked with fresh baked goods and canned food items, but it tends to sell out quickly, so get there early.
Barbecue lunch plates will also be sold for $10 for adults and $7 for children. Proceeds of the lunch will benefit Grace Academy, the K-8 grade school that runs out of the church.
A silent auction will also take place through Friday night, which will include antiques and donated items from local businesses.
Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m., is the popular “Bag Day,” where customers can fill up a bag and purchase all of the items inside for only $10. Bag Day concludes at 11 a.m., but the work isn’t done for the volunteers.
“You come on Sunday, and it looks like nothing ever happened,” Metzger said. Saturday afternoon is spent collecting the remainder of the items, straightening rooms and preparing the church for services on Sunday.
This year, three couples are serving as chairpersons to the event: Marge and Tom Allan, Fred and JoAnna Fonville, and Lee and Mary Metzger. Past chairpersons include Rosie Bentley, who served for 10 years, and Rush and Doris Thompson, who served for four years.
Hebron Colony Ministries, Kari’s Home for Women and the Western Youth Network receive cash percentages of the profits earned by the bazaar, while Avery and Watauga county school counsellors will receive a gift card to invest in the needs of their students.
Additional nonprofits that benefit from the Fall Bazaar include the Hospitality House, Children’s Council, Oasis, Hunger and Health Coalition, Red Bird Missions, Watauga County Health Department and Project Agape.