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Elves back in business – Holiday bazaars, festivals, make comeback

The Mount Angel-Silverton Hazelnut Fest & German Holiday Market is back this year, with regional vendors like Blue Sky Fungi scheduled to return.

By Melissa Wagoner

Holiday bazaars are not just providing holiday spirit this year, they’re also bringing a little bit of “normal” to a year that has been anything but.

“In a way it is a little more special this year,” Kim White – Vendor Coordinator for Santa Mouse, Silverton’s longest running holiday bazaar – confirmed. “It is giving us something to look forward to.”

Introduced more than 40 years ago at Eugene Field Elementary School, Santa Mouse Bazaar – named for that school’s mascot, the “field mouse” – quickly became a mainstay of the holiday season.

Which is why, when it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event’s organizers were more than a little disappointed.

“We tossed around ideas for online or outside, but just didn’t have time to put it together,” White recalled. “With the weather, outside would have been hard for the vendors.”

But this year the event is back.

“We have 100 tables available,” White said. She noted that, while there were a few regular vendors who have declined due to COVID concerns, the majority were more than happy to sign-up.

“We have also had requests from new vendors for registration forms,” White pointed out. Listing wreaths, signs, jewelry, soaps, baked goods, candles, photographs, and hand sewn and knitted items amongst the many gift options that will be on display.

“This is a unique opportunity to shop local and support the local artisans in Silverton and surrounding communities,” White said. “I have gotten to know many of our returning vendors. They are wonderful people who put a lot of time and effort into their creations. I’m sure anyone could find something that appeals to their taste and budget.”

Held in the Commons Area of Silverton High School on Dec. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Santa Mouse is unique in that it is a fundraiser for the Basic Skills classroom, where White is a teacher.

“Some of our students will be there to help out,” she said of her students’ involvement, which includes serving drinks at the Frothy Fox (open during the bazaar) as well as making the class’s traditional dog biscuits, which will also be on sale.

Mount Angel, too, has the crafters and specialty food vendors presenting their wares at its Hazelnut Fest and German Holiday Market. The festival of all things hazelnut and more is open at the Mount Angel Festhalle 4 – 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 – when entertainment will include the Festival Brass – and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5.

Then on Dec. 11 Silverton Together and the Silverton Chamber of Commerce will host the 27th annual Celebrate Families Holiday Festival, where children can make their own crafts and holiday decorations to give as gifts. Plus, the first 300 children over age 3 to attend receive goodie bags. Santa will be there for a visit, a photo or both! The festival runs 1 to 4 p.m. at the Silverton Community Center, 421 S. Water St.

 And for last-minute shoppers, there’s a new craft bazaar joining the scene. Coined, the Holiday Craft Market at The Oregon Garden, this bazaar will take place Dec. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Natural Resources Education Center, just outside the garden gates.

“For many years, The Oregon Garden has been the location of the beloved Christmas in the Garden event,” Delen Kitchen, the Oregon Garden Foundation’s Director of Operations, said. “For various reasons we are not able to put on such a large-scale event this year, but we still wanted a way to celebrate the holidays with our community.”

Featuring booths filled with jewelry, hand-made wooden goods, textiles, soaps and glass garden art, the Holiday Craft Market is unique in that it will also offer shoppers the opportunity to take part in The Oregon Garden’s shopping experience as well.

“[P]eruse The Oregon Garden’s gift shop, which features plants, home and garden decor and seasonal items from Stamen & Pistil,” Kitchen suggested, “warm up with a snack and drink at Little Leaf Café, and enjoy the Garden’s 80 beautiful acres… all the while knowing all purchases exclusively support small local businesses.”

Artisans interested in becoming a vendor at either Holiday Craft Market, Santa Mouse Bazaar, or Hazelnut Fest still have time to apply. 

“We still have a few spots to fill, but don’t expect any problems doing so,” Kitchen said. “The support for this impromptu event has been overwhelming.”

And if you would like to become a sponsor for the Celebrate Families festival, contact Silverton Together.

Whether it’s as a vendor or as a holiday shopper, both Kitchen and White urge everyone to take part in the season’s bazaars.

“One of the best parts of this bazaar is seeing all the people coming together to support each other,” White pointed out, “see old friends and sometimes make new ones.”

Hazelnut Fest & German Holiday Market
Mount Angel Festhalle
500 Wilco Hwy. NE, Mount Angel
Dec. 3, 4 – 8 p.m.; Dec. 4, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Santa Mouse Bazaar
Silverton High School Commons Area 1456 Pine St., Silverton
Dec. 4,  9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Celebrate Families Holiday Festival
Silverton Community Center
421 S. Water St., Silverton
Dec. 11, 1 – 4 p.m. 

Holiday Craft Market at The Oregon Garden
Natural Resources Education Center 879 W. Main St., Silverton
Dec. 18 & 19, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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