Extra hour added to Holiday Bazaar
"Are we there yet?"
That's what many excited shoppers will wonder as they head to the annual Owatonna Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2.
An extra hour has been added to the shopping day on Friday. Hours Friday will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours on Saturday will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The 57th annual Holiday Bazaar will be held on the lower level surrounding the Owatonna hospital Auxiliary Coffee & Gift Shop (formerly the Pink Pantry).
Got your passport?
Well, you can pick up a special Owatonna Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar passport from Hospital Auxiliary greeters at the Main Entrance of the hospital, AllinaHealth.
A Toys for Tot collection bin will be available in the entry way for those wishing to make a child's Christmas a happier one.
The entrance is accessible to those with mobility issues. Parking can sometimes be a challenge because of the popularity of the bazaar. Organizers remind everyone that parking is also available on the west back side of the hospital, in addition to front parking spots.
Once you have your passport, visit eight stops, get your passport signed and return the completed passport to become eligible for gift drawings from each room.
A prize will be given at all seven locations: Gift Shop, Santa's Stocking Stuffer, Gift Shop Apparel Outlet, Bake Sale/homemade goodies and treats, Sewing Room/handcrafted items, New/Nearly New, Sheets Galore (NEW this year) and Collective Goods (formerly Books are Fun).
Sheets Galore will have top quality sheets of any color and size at an attractive price.
Homemade quality items, including embroidered dish towels, will be sold in the sewing room.
Kathy Ihlenfeld, co-chair of the Holiday Bazaar, said over 1,000 passports were printed and handed out to guests for the two-day event last year.
Serving as tri-chairs with Ihlenfeld this year are Audrey Oldefendt and Sheryl Ignaszewski.
The Owatonna Hospital Auxiliary Coffee & Gift Shop will feature unique pieces of apparel including tops, jackets, shoes, jewelry, hats and mittens. Buffalo Plaid is a popular style.
Coffee and pastries plus flowers and fragrances and many other unique gifts will be available at the gift shop.
An outlet, representing an extension of the gift shop, will be located in the cafeteria. Quality pieces or apparel and jewelry will be featured at reduced prices.
Theme for the gift shop at this year's bazaar is Christmas of the Gnome. There will be a different gnome in every stop on the day's travel at the bazaar.
A bake sale will feature specialty breads, kolaches, rosettes, mini pies, traditional fruit cakes, cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls, lefse (new this year), fudge and cookies galore. New co-chairs of the bake sale are Val O'Neil and Linda Beede.
The Prairie Meadows Café, of course, will be open during the bazaar with hot meals, desserts and beverages available at reasonable prices.
The gift shop style show is scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Marcia Sullivan, Gift Shop supervisor, is in charge of the style show. She said she will have up to 12 models wearing the latest fashions and wondering through the bazaar areas. These items will be available at the Gift Shop.
More than 200 volunteers are involved in making the bazaar a success, says tri-chairs Ihlenfeld, Oldefendt and Ignaszewski. "We appreciate all of our volunteers and couldn't do it alone," says the tri-chairs.
The bazaar links Steele County with many surrounding areas and it builds community, believes Ihlenfeld. The bazaar also creates multi-generational bonding, she said.
Funds from the bazaar are used to buy HALO Swaddle Sleep Sacks for the hospital's Birth Center. One is given to each baby born at the Owatonna Hospital Birth Center.
The tri-chairs explain that the sleep sacks are a "big expense" with about 500 expected to be given out next year.
Currently, there are 297 members in the Owatonna Hospital Auxiliary. If interested in joining and volunteering, pick up an application at the Gift Shop.