Michiana Church of Christ hosts second annual bazaar

DOWAGIAC — One local church was transformed into a winter wonderland this weekend, complete with colorful wreaths, Christmas cookies and dozens of people ready to infect holiday shoppers with end-of-the-year spirit.

Michiana Church of Christ, 500 E. Prairie Ronde St., hosted its second annual holiday bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Dowagiac. The craft show hosted 20 vendors and raised around $700 for the church to put back into its programming and outreach.

“We have a mixture of everything here today, with crafts and direct sales,” said event organizer Shelby Kirby, 24. “We can bring them together under one roof and have a fun Christmas event.”

The holiday bazaar began in 2017 with the goal to foster community outreach, bring in families and raise money for the church, Kirby said.

“My main objective is to support the church,” she said.

During the second annual bazaar, Kirby said the event raised more than twice the amount of money for the church this year than last year through booth and food sales.

“It’s really great,” Kirby said of the success of Saturday’s event. “We are even getting a lot of donations. With our bake sale, people aren’t asking for change, they are just donating it.”

Vendors at Saturday’s event said they were happy to support the church and the cause for a local craft show in Dowagiac.

Dowagiac photographer Suellen Gause, with Eye Love the View, participated both this year and last with the holiday bazaar.

“I just really enjoyed the place and the people last year, so I wanted to do it again,” she said. “This is my last show of the year, and it is just a really nice way to wrap up the year.”

Gause said she not only appreciated the atmosphere of Michiana Church of Christ’s bazaar, but also the fact that the event offered a local opportunity to sell directly to customers.

“[Local craft shows] are a great way to reach new people,” she said. “I have an online presence with my Facebook page and my Etsy shop, but it’s nice to have something like this in your home town.”

Fellow Dowagiac artist Sherrie Styx, who works with clay art and pottery, agreed.

“It’s nice to be home. I do a lot of travelling around, so it’s nice to come to an event [in Dowagiac],” she said. “I think it’s important to support our own community.”

Kirby said she hoped vendors and customers alike enjoyed themselves Saturday and will come back next year for the third annual holiday bazaar at Michiana Church of Christ. She said she is already starting to plan for next year’s event, which she hopes will be even bigger than this year.

“I hope [people who visit the holiday bazaar] leave feeling good about the church and about all the money that is being donated towards it,” she said. “This also brings everyone together for the holidays.”

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