Ramstein bazaar on tap this weekend
September 12, 2012
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – Cork purses from Portugal. Tartan scarves from Scotland. Hand-painted terracotta pottery from Italy. Antique wine and beer barrels from the Netherlands.
Two hangars and a vast tent were filling quickly with goods from across Europe on Wednesday morning as more than 140 vendors prepared for the 48th annual Ramstein Welfare Bazaar.
Organizers say the four-day affair, which kicks off Thursday, is the largest bazaar of its kind at a U.S. military base worldwide. Last year, the event drew more than 25,000 customers and raised $271,000 for community and youth groups and scholarships for military spouses and students, said Cheryl Price, the bazaar chairwoman for the Ramstein Officers’ Spouses Club, which is sponsoring the bazaar in coordination with the 86th Force Support Squadron.
“It’s Europe; it’s the world at your doorstep,” Price said Wednesday. “People who can’t travel all over can come to the bazaar and give back to the community.”
As every year, the bazaar will feature its typical staples of wine, cheese, chocolate, antique furniture and pottery, Price and ROSC President Trish Dotson said. Twenty-one new vendors will be selling items, including wrought iron décor from Italy, handmade English toffee and Spanish wine.
Food vendors will have booths on the ramp area outside the bazaar.
Shopping opens to all at 10 a.m. on Thursday, which along with Friday is a stroller-friendly day. Stroller parking is available outside on Saturday and Sunday, when big crowds are expected. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Entrance to the event is open to all U.S. and NATO identification card holders.
Prices are in dollars. Cash, as well as club and credit cards are accepted; two ATMs will be on site. Pets and Heelys (shoes with wheels) aren’t allowed.
ROSC President Trish Dotson said ROSC donates all net proceeds from the bazaar to the community. Vendors pay a fee for a space at the bazaar and give a percentage of their sales to theclub, she said. Recent community requests paid with bazaar revenue include eight iPads for special-needs students at Ramstein High School and the offset of travel costs for families of Kaiserslautern Military Community All-Stars attending the Little League World Series in the States, among other things. The club also donated $15,000 to the Fisher House and gave $60,000 in scholarships, Dotson said.
The bazaar takes place in hangars one and two near the flight line in the vicinity of Ramstein’s Hercules Theater.
For more information, visit the organization's website.