Where did all the people come from?
Pam Folkens and Mandy Doocy, co-chairs of The Village Affair in Blooming Prairie, echoed this question: "Where did all the people come from?"
The 46th annual Village Affair, a holiday bazaar, was held Saturday, Oct. 27 in the hallways, commons area and gymnasium of Blooming Prairie High School. Hundreds of shoppers attended the event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sponsors of the event were the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Women of Today. Folkens represents the AAUW and Doocy is a member of the Women of Today.
Seventy-nine exhibitors participated in the show and 140 spaces were rented.
The affair featured many hand-crafted items. Many items were unique and one of a kind.
Some of the items included: jewelry of all kinds; kids toys, night lights and lamps; soaps, candles, wax melts, goat milk soaps, lip balm, deodorant; home decor, florals, centerpieces; purses, sweatshirts, caps and wind chimes; holiday decor for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas; Rosemaling, Norwegian theme pottery; unique clothing and accessories for women and youth.
Wood items included a large assortment of hand-made wooden toys, barns, rocking horses, trucks;; cutting boards, coat racks, stools, serving trays; small wood crafts, snowmen, signs; repurposed barn wood, decorated windows; bird houses and feeders, doll beds; seasonal wood decor, wreaths,, swags; wood fire hand-painted signs and planters, signs and small furniture."We couldn't be more happy with the outcome," said Doocy. "There was something for everyone," remarked Folkens. Both said this year's event was maybe the largest in history.
Mike Woods of Woody's Woodworks of Blooming Prairie was set up outside the school near the front entrance. He braved the rain and said clouds broke and weather turned out to be cooperative.
"People coming to the show would stop by and then go inside to see the exhibits. Many came out and decided to buy wooden creations by Woods.
Folkens and Doocy said Village Affair attendance spiked from about 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. "People use this event as a meeting place to connect; it's a real gathering," Folkens continued.
Drizzle greeted some of the early attendees but it did not dim their enthusiasm. As the day moved onward, the weather improved and more shoppers made their way to the high school.
Profits from the event now go to scholarships for Blooming Prairie High School students. Doocy and Folkens said it is likely that five or more scholarships will be given.
"We sold out all of our food, which featured pulled pork and chicken noodle hot dish," Doocy remarked.
The food was again provided by the Conger Inn Victory Catering of Conger.
The Blooming Prairie Cancer Group was selling homemade baked goods and had a thriving business. Lefse was a popular offering from the BP Cancer Group.
A raffle featured a Minnesota basket of goodies as the main prize. Jim Yanke of Dodge Center won the Minnesota basket. He bought one ticket, crumpled it up and placed it in the drawing basket.
The following items were in the Minnesota basket:
• Minnesota bamboo cutting board; Blooming Prairie note cards; "A Country Doctor's Casebook: Tales from the North Woods;" First Avenue stocking cap; journal with loon cover; Awesome Blossom t-shirt; Minnesota Vikings cap; Vikings arm sleeves;
• "Relax You're at the Lake" wood plaque; Love Minnesota dish bowl and cookie cutter set; flaxseed comfort pack; Minnesota deck of cards; mini Red Wing stoneware jug; Minnesota napkins, scrub pad and hot pad; autumn leaves napkins;
• Homemade quilt hot pads; Costas' chocolates; Curly Girl chocolates; Pearson salted nut rolls; Minnesota pure maple syrup;; homemade salsa; strawberry jam;
• Maggie and Mary's wild rice soup mix; Four Daughters Rose'; Indian Island white wine; gift certificate to the Blooming Prairie Bakery; gift certificate to The Hat Chic and gift certificate to Old Town Bagels.
The 2018 event had no more than closed its doors when vendors were asking to sign up for next year. Folkens said signups will begin closer to the date of the 2019 show.
If anyone is interested in returning as a vendor in 2019, contact the Village Affair Facebook page, or call Pam Folkens at 507-391-4336 or Mandy Doocy at 507-530-5084.