As has been the tradition over the years, the bazaar is scheduled for the first Saturday in November-this Saturday, November 1. It is held in and around the multipurpose building of the church, located at 2409 Peanut Plant Road, two miles south of Elizabethtown.
This year's event, the 24th annual edition, promises to bring back the magic of past bazaars, and more, says Brenda Gooden, a co-chair of the event.
The theme for this year-Glad Tidings at Christmas-is very appropriate for the event, Gooden says.
"We like to think our bazaar kicks off the Christmas season here in Bladen County," she explained. "Not only does it give folks from around southeastern North Carolina an opportunity to shop for that special, handmade Christmas gift, it generates funds to be used for mission projects of our United Methodist Women.
"These projects can indeed mean glad tidings-good news-for folks who live in the utmost poverty, who lack even the essentials of life," she explained. "And it offers us, individually and collectively, the opportunity to bring the glad tidings of God's love to people in our community and around the world.
"Though it is a lot of work to bring the event together, it is worth the time and effort," she said. "Getting together to do the projects brings a sense of camaraderie and fellowship to us. And the excitement of bazaar week is hard to describe.
"The pressure to get everything completed and organized during the last few days before the bazaar is intense," she said. "Every year, it seems there is no way we can get it all completed in time to be ready for Saturday morning-but somehow we do."
As in previous years, the day's events will start out with breakfast being served from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. The bazaar shops officially open for business at 10 a.m.
Throughout the multipurpose building will be Christmas shops of a variety of descriptions-a Bake Shop, a Children's Shop, a Christmas Shop, a Gift Baskets Galore shop, The Home Shop/Farmer's Market, a Tasty Treats Shop, and a Needlework Shop. All of the shops are chock full of handmade and homegrown items.
In addition, shoppers will have an opportunity to sign up for a silent auction throughout the day.
There will be food available throughout the day. In addition to breakfast, hot dogs will be served throughout the day, a soup and salad bar will be served from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the evening Christmas dinner will be served from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
As in previous years, a favorite of the men who attend the bazaar-the turkey shoot-will be held from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.
For the convenience of shoppers, a nursery will be provided from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
As in years past, the days activities will be capped off with a crowd favorite-the auction, which begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until all items are sold.
"We're looking forward to a great day," said Gooden. "We invite everyone to come out and browse through our shops. You won't be disappointed."