October 31, 2009 10:01:00 PM
Jan Swoope - firstname.lastname@example.org
If the past three years are anything to judge by, savvy shoppers with an eye to the holidays will be out in force Nov. 7 for the 2009 edition of the Handworks Christmas Bazaar in Starkville.
The First United Methodist Church at 200 W. Lampkin St. will host more than 35 vendors of finely made clothing, jewelry, ceramics and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in its Christian Life Center Saturday.
"Our particular focus is on handworks," said chairman Pam Hunt of Starkville about the festive event benefiting the Oktibbeha County Habitat for Humanity. "We''re trying to highlight vendors who use their God-given talent to make the items we sell."
Last year''s crowd was estimated to be near 500, Hunt said, and organizers expect at least that many this year to inspect the wide variety of products, just in time for the gift-giving season.
Offerings include artwork, clay and broken vessel pottery, distressed picture frames, outdoor decorations, yard art, baby items, smocking, handmade soaps and candles, wooden bowls and spoons, ceramics and more.
"We have seen these vendors and their quality," said Hunt. "For example, you won''t find clothing made overseas: these vendors make beautiful, beautiful items. They''re coming from this area but also from places like the Delta, Brandon, New Albany and Iuka. There is already a waiting list of vendors for next year."
Two Mississippi authors -- Denise Rowan of Starkville and Julie Cantrell of Oxford -- will also attend for a book signing.
The Bazaar Coffee Shop will be open from 9-11 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m. Home-baked items and casseroles will be available, as well as boxed lunches.
Live entertainment throughout the day and holiday decor will add to the festive atmosphere.
"When you leave, you will leave in the Christmas spirit," Hunt pledged.
There is no charge to attend the Handworks Bazaar. For more information, or to reserve a boxed lunch (by noon, Nov. 4), contact the church office at 662-323-5722.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.