In November of 1969, the Brookings Home Extension Nite unit put on their first Community Bazaar at the Catholic School facility in Brookings, Oregon. Our idea was to get the various bazaars that were held during the holiday season under one roof. It was also our idea to promote Oregon State University Extension and their many activities, including home extension study groups, the 4-H clubs, farm extension and much more. Our first effort produced 26 different clubs, organizations, churches and individuals. With the help of other local study groups, we also put on a luncheon. Vangie Andreason became chairman for the Bazaar while Marilyn Shipley chaired the luncheon.
During the past 51 years, numerous changes have taken place. Success has created growth and growth has led to expansion. During this experience, the event has been held in various locations. Our first move was to Kalmiopsis School multi-purpose room and then, having doubled our capacity to 55 tables, we were able to acquire the Brookings Harbor High School gym and adjoining cafeteria. By the time we reached 80 tables, we had taken over the upstairs and hallways to accommodate the vendors. Another move was needed, this time to Azalea School gym and the new nearby BHHS cafeteria. Now, we are able to house 100+ vendors. Follow the signs to the various vendors and their gifted creations!
Over the years, the primary use of funds raised from vendor tables has been to provide educational opportunities for youth and women. 4-H camp has always been a focus, in camperships and assistance, as has help for fair facilities, college scholarships for 4-H youth, women’s opportunities and more.
With a bigger bazaar and as other study groups closed, we no longer provide an on-site lunch. However, local food vendors are encouraged to sign up, and tables are left in place in the cafeteria for seating. Another change that had taken place was that now our group was no longer know as Extension but as Family Community Education or simply, FCE.
Our elves are retiring this year after the bazaar. We are so fortunate that the local Chapter GE of PEO will be in training during the event to be ready to produce the same quality event our customers and vendors expect PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has existed for 150 years, providing educational opportunities through scholarships and even supporting Cottey College in the mid-west. Since the local chapter formed, they have provided support of over $60,000 to local women. Watch for them as volunteer assistant elves during the bazaar to meet these wonderful women and learn more.
Many people feel that the Bazaar begins their Christmas season. Local merchants plan special sales for the holidays for that day, and other bazaars are open as well, offering shoppers a full day of fun and bargaining. The atmosphere is one of excitement where vendors and customers alike can find many exquisite items and meet many old friends. Make it a part of your holiday tradition!
Brookings Harbor Community Bazaar
17488 Carpenterville Road, Brookings, OR 97415
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