On Nov. 22, there will be no better place for Schuyler County-area folks to sate their appetites for food and fun than the “Visions of Sugar Plums” holiday bazaar. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the parish center of St. Mary of the Lake Church on 10th Street, Watkins Glen.
The bazaar is the church’s biggest fundraiser of the year and has a proud history, according to Terri Orbin, business manager for Schuyler Catholic Community.
“I remember when my kids were younger, the highlight of the bazaar for them was being able to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, and to sit on Santa’s lap to give him the long list of things they wanted for Christmas,” Orbin said.
She added that Santa and Mrs. Claus still pay an annual visit to the bazaar. Another tradition features Father Paul Bonacci, pastor, reading a story to the children after Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at noon. Meanwhile, Santa’s Workshop offers children the chance to make their own Christmas ornaments to take home, go fishing in the fish pond for a special surprise or have their face painted by a parish youth-group member.
People of all ages can enjoy a wide variety of food offerings, many of which reflect St. Mary of the Lake’s strong Italian roots. The Christmas Cafe will feature such homemade items as pizza, pasta fagioli, baked ziti, homemade meatball subs, cannolis, fried dough and cinnamon rolls. In addition, Granny’s Cupboard will offer homemade pastas, baked goods, candies, jellies, pies, breads and more. And, the cake booth will offer chances to win homemade cakes by spinning a wheel.
A major highlight of this year’s bazaar will be a first-time car raffle, with the drawing at 2 p.m. All 2,000 tickets have been sold and the winner may choose between a new Pontiac Vibe or $18,000 in cash. Other opportunities to win cash will be through the money tree with prizes of $500, $100 and $50 at stake, and the Pot o’ Gold Raffle.
Crafts and specialty items will be available from outside vendors as well as from parishioners who make crafts at home and donate them to the bazaar. Also, Catholic Daughters of the Americas will offer new and gently used treasures at affordable prices, as well as fresh-cut, handmade greens.