Just two months from now, Snowflake Boutique Chairwoman Pat Lamoureux will start making plans and reservations for next year.
She has to contact the Oregon Department of Transportation and the owner of the space Snowflake will occupy, as well as various publications and news outlets that will advertise the event that boasts it as Central Oregon’s largest holiday bazaar.
Summer months won’t slow Lamoureux. She’ll continue making phone calls and letting various organizations and chambers of commerce know that they can expect the Snowflake another year. She’ll also keep Snowflake’s Web site, www.snowflakeboutique.org, updated for shoppers and possible vendors.
“It’s a lot of work, and (sometimes) we wonder if we’re crazy,” Lamoureux joked last week. “I would easily say (each of 15 volunteers) spends 40 hours working on it.”
Lamoureux has been involved with Snowflake as an organizer and an artisan for 12 years. She’s one of many Central Oregonians who organize the dozens of holiday craft sales that go from October to December.
Whereas some bazaars are small enough they can be held in residents’ houses, the Snowflake requires a large space. After all, it has been going for 33 years and holds 70 vendors. This year, it attracted 2,000 to its Friday and Saturday bazaar in the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond.
While the Snowflake is only open one weekend, other bazaars carry on into December, like Lynn’s Christmas Bazaar and Bazaar at the Greens.
Lynn Smalls, of Lynn’s Christmas Bazaar, has been hosting her bazaar for 10 years. For her, the event started as a way to sell her Avon Christmas items, but she also sells the Avon skin and beauty items.
Last year, she had 100 visitors and expects to attract at least that many this year.
For Bazaar at the Greens, organizer Jan Collins is making her bazaar debut.
Collins said her first year hosting a bazaar is a way to sell her handmade candles and silk-flower decorations.
“I thought, ‘I have to get rid of all this stuff,’” she said of her storage space full of flowers, candles and other crafts.
As soon as she got the word out that she would be hosting a bazaar, other vendors came out of the woodwork, including two ladies selling plastic storage containers and a couple of local artists.
Collins said she’s happy to organize a bazaar after years of attending as a customer.
“I’ve been doing this all my life,” Collins said. “When I lived in the (Willamette) Valley, I always went to bazaars when the kids were little.”
She said smaller regions like Central Oregon don’t always have bazaars, but publications advertising the events have helped this festive industry gain traction locally.
“Going to other (bazaars) gives me ideas and creativity,” Collins said. “I like seeing what other people come up with.”