If you've ever lived in Richmond, you know about The Bizarre Bazaar! It has been a Richmond tradition for 37 years and there are two each year. There is The Spring Market, usually in April, and The Christmas Collection in December.
I drove all the way from Lynchburg to attend this year! My mom and I planned to spend just about the whole day at The Bazaar but we actually ended up stopping at two other craft shows! It really did become an all day event!
First we stopped by one of my favorite places for a small local artisan craft show at The Montpelier Center for the Arts and Education. This is actually where my husband and I had our beautiful wedding reception! The building serves many purposes from a library to a ruritan meeting place to a dance studio to a venue for various events. There is a beautiful ballroom surrounded with windows and a hallway around the entire ballroom. There is always beautiful, local art work hung up in the hallway. During our wedding reception there was animal themed art in the halls which was perfect for someone like me!
We showed up nice and early around 9:30am to start off our day!
There were maybe about 30 vendors that hand-crafted everything from goat's milk soap to pottery to wreaths and even beautiful woodwork. It was hard to keep my wallet in my purse!
Several vendors were showcasing their gorgeous handmade jewelry. There was even a lady who hand spun wool into yarn. I absolutely LOVE seeing the gifts and talents of my local community being showcased. Everyone has some sort of talent that they can put to work and I really enjoy supporting them in their endeavors. If you've been keeping up with my blog, you've probably noticed a pattern where I love finding Made in the USA products. As much as I love USA made products, I love locally made products even more!
After we spent almost 2 hours at the Montpelier Center, I was checking Facebook on my phone and a friend had commented that there was another craft show going on at a nearby high school that had about 75 vendors! I mentioned it to my mom and off we went!
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of that show but there were a lot of great vendors and products available there too! There were a few more direct sales type of vendors but also lots of cool handmade products. We spent another couple hours at this craft show and we each found a few good things for gifts so it was nice and successful. We also bought lunch there to support the school, which my mom and my older sister both attended, actually!
Now, onto the big daddy craft show! The Bizarre Bazaar!
I couldn't stretch my arm high enough to get even a fraction of what was there!! The Bazaar is held at the Richmond Raceway Complex which is a huge venue for all sort of events. The Bazaar alone took up their main building and 3 adjoining buildings! This year there were 475 vendors, primarily from Virginia and the nearby states but some even as far as Vermont.
This picture is deceiving because, let me tell you, there was rarely that much available walking space in the isles! This place was packed with people from all over Richmond! We spent about 4 hours going booth-to-booth trying not to miss anything! There was just so much to see...and taste!
By the end of it we were frankly quite tired! We each found a bit of stuff to buy and I found one of my favorite soup companies, Leonard Mountain! Their soups are delicious! They're "just add water" soups and are quick and easy. They're great by themselves or you can add all sorts of extras and it's always delicious! I blogged about one of the soups here. I had been hoping I'd see them because I was out of the soups I had bought last year. I ended up buying 7 soups at a craft show deal price. Yum! Winter is always the best time for soups, isn't it? I also bought some adorable reusable sandwich and snack bags for my husband's lunch! So glad I won't have to use hundreds of plastic baggies anymore! My mom also found plenty of gifts and we collected lots of business cards for reference.
All in all in was a great day, not only for buying locally crafted goods, but for spending some fun, quality time with my mom :-)
Till next time,