Mildenhall's Yuletide Bazaar features more than crafts
November 17, 2006
RAF MILDENHALL, England — The wide aircraft hangar was empty Thursday afternoon, except for a few members of the Mildenhall Enlisted and Spouses Club, who were preparing for their annual bazaar.
Hangars 711 and 722 near the West Row gate are expected to be filled with 118 local and international vendors selling goods to base personnel when the Yuletide Bazaar kicks off Friday at 2 p.m.
Shannon Sample, president of Mildenhall’s ESC, said this year’s bazaar shouldn’t be thought of only as a craft fair.
“We have crafts, but it’s not just a craft fair,” said Sample, who added that the bazaar would have a variety of vendors, food, amusement rides and even Santa Claus.
A cheese vendor from Holland who has become a crowd favorite is planning to be back this year as well as vendors selling rugs, antiques and wine, among other items, Sample said.
“He always sells out of his stuff,” Sample said of the cheese vendor.
That’s good for the ESC, since vendors pay 14 percent of their total sales to the club on top of payments for vendor slots.
Seventy percent of those earnings directly benefit the base, plus schools, hospitals and pet rescue programs in the local communities.
The other 30 percent helps pay for the club’s monthly social gatherings and tourist trips. The bazaar raised about $30,000 last year.
“It’s our main fundraiser,” said Deborah Calisi, the club’s treasurer.
Yuletide Bazaar hours
10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
The bazaar is open to all Department of Defense identification cardholders.