Bazaars, Santa are holiday highlights in the area

With the warm scents of pine, spices, cider and baked goods, along with the sounds of holiday music, local Christmas bazaars offer an opportunity to catch the holiday spirit while shopping for unique and handcrafted gifts. Here are a few planned in the Central Carroll area, as well as a fire company-sponsored Breakfast with Santa.

St. John hosts event


St. John Catholic Church will have its 2014 Christmas bazaar from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, inside St. John Catholic School and surrounding buildings.

Teresa Richardson, chairperson of the bazaar, said this marks 61 years of a time-honored tradition.


Start the day off with the Military Salute Ceremony, from 8:45 to 9 a.m. "We wanted to give a nod to the guys in the military who sometimes get lost after all they do," Richardson said. "We have the Young Marines coming to raise the flag, our schoolchildren singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' and we'll have some of our local delegates there to join us in thanking the military. It's our parish and community coming together to thank our military. We can only do this bazaar because we have our freedom."

After the ceremony, any veteran or active-duty military can go to The Portico for complimentary coffee and a light continental breakfast, Richardson said.

Wander from room to room at the Christmas bazaar, where a variety of handmade, new and gently used items will be offered for sale. Look for books and videos, Christmas items, jewelry, linens, baskets, tins, plants, religious items, needlework, hand-sewn items, stuffed animals, a toys and games room, and a variety of handmade wreaths.

"The Man Cave is new this year," Richardson said. "We wanted to offer something for the guys. We have La-Z-Boy chairs for sale, man cave signs, antique beer steins, tools, fishing poles and golf clubs. It's everything for the guy," she said.


The Angels Mini-Mall room is a place where children up to age 12 can secretly shop for siblings, parents and grandparents. "Everything is priced very reasonably, with most items under $5," Richardson said. "They also can decorate a bag or get a Christmas stocking to 'wrap' their gift."

Holiday music will keep people humming as they shop. "We'll have our St. John Radio show with our deejay dads and the St. John's children's choir," Richardson said. "It's like a little radio show all day long."

A silent auction will offer numerous items, including tickets for Maryland Terps basketball, the Wizards and the Nationals, as well as PartyLite items, family game packages, gift cards, a Pandora bracelet, an Under Armour-themed basket and more.

"We have our own festival of wreaths in the silent auction," Richardson said. "We have about 30 wreaths made up by our children or parishioners. Each classroom makes a wreath and we have gingerbread men, angels, grapevine wreaths and so many more."

Richardson said Santa will be available all day to meet with kids, and photos with Santa can be purchased for a small fee.

Look for a baked-goods table and a fudge table, too.

Breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., with coffee, doughnuts and Chick‐fil‐A sandwiches, and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, stromboli and fried chicken.

St. John Catholic School and the church are at 43 Monroe St., Westminster.

For more information, call the parish center at 410-848-4744.

Bazaar & breakfast

The annual Christmas bazaar at Deer Park United Methodist Church on Saturday, Dec. 6, will kick off with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. in the church's social hall.

The pancake breakfast is co-sponsored by the Deer Park Men's Group and the Deer Park Lions Club, with proceeds to benefit the community projects and work of both groups.

In addition to pancakes, the meal will include scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, applesauce and a choice of beverage. The cost is: adults, $6.50; 4- to 12-year-olds, $3, and children 3 and younger, free.

"The pancake breakfast is on the lower level in our social hall and the bazaar is upstairs on the main level. This is a good place to find stocking stuffers and a good place for kids to shop," said church member Joy Grimm.

An array of vendors and crafters will offer handmade goods for sale at the bazaar. Also look for a Nearly-New Room with gently used items, a Book Nook, a Greenery Room with fresh greens and holiday decorations, and the Church Craft Room with many small gift items.

Grimm said they'll also have a baked-goods table with homemade cookies, cake and candy.

Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with homemade soups and sandwiches for sale.

Join in a silent auction, with unique gift items as well as personal services such as baby-sitting and leaf-raking.

Proceeds from the bazaar will help support the ministry and missions of the church. These missions include the growing Children's Ministry of the church, including a yearly vacation Bible school; serving neighbors a luncheon on the fourth Thursday of every other month at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church, in Eldersburg; and regular monetary gifts to two missionary families in Thailand and Liberia.

"It's well known in the community and a good place to meet friends you may not have seen for a while," Grimm said of the bazaar. "We have some new and different vendors this year along with our regular vendors."

Deer Park UMC is at 2205 Sykesville Road, Smallwood.

For more information, call the church at 410-848-2313 or visit http://www.deerparkumc.net.

Bazaar in Silver Run

St. Mary's Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Silver Run, will have its annual Christmas bazaar in the church's social hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 13.

Fran Crist, a member of the church's craft committee, said there will be many handcrafted items for sale, made by church members.

Crist said they will have handmade wreaths and Christmas table centerpieces, most of them themed. "We have snowmen, penguins, a moose one and one that looks outdoorsy, like a hunting-type theme," Crist said of the wreaths and arrangements.

Cindy Sparacino, the head of the church's craft group, "has a flair for putting things together, and they are all unique," Crist said. "We don't mass produce them to all look alike.

They will also have plates of cookies and baked goods for sale — including big, old-fashioned sugar cakes, Crist said.

Look for stocking stuffers, bibs for adults, tea towels, machine-quilted throws, jewelry and more.

"We make some of our jewelry out of bulletin beads made from rolled bulletins," Crist said. "We have bracelets for watch faces. You buy the watch face and then buy the bracelet to attach to it. And everything is very reasonable priced."

The silent auction at the bazaar will have about 40 themed groups of items. "When you win, you have a grouping that could be split into several gifts," said Crist.

Enjoy lunch while there, including hot dogs, hamburgers, crab soup, barbecue sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken corn soup, sodas, tea, coffee and chips. A bake table will have cookies, pies and cakes.


Raffle tickets will be sold for five turkeys and five hams. The tickets cost $1 each or six for $5. The raffle benefits the Feeser's Women Scholarship Fund for women seminary students. You don't have to be present at the afternoon drawing to win.


The church has a new handicapped ramp that Crist said will be helpful for those who have trouble with steps and also for mothers with strollers.

The church is at 3978 Littlestown Pike.

For more information, call the church at 410-346-7146.

Santa at morning meal

The Gamber fire company will have its Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the fire hall. Doors will open at 7 a.m. and breakfast will end at 11 a.m.

The buffet-style meal includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, hot apples, biscuits and gravy, cereal, milk, orange juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

Families may bring a camera to take photos of their little ones with Santa or with the fire company equipment. Due to the number of children and time restrictions, no more than two photos with Santa will be permitted.

The cost of breakfast is $7 for adults, $3 for 6- to 11-year-olds, and free for children 5 and younger. Cash or checks only will be accepted, but an ATM machine is available onsite.

This year the fire company will be collecting items for the Toys for Tots campaign, and canned foods for the needy. Those attending the Breakfast with Santa are asked to consider bringing a new toy for a needy child or a canned goods donation.

The fire company is at 3838 Niner Road, Gamber.

Call 410-795-3445 for additional information.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her, call 410-346-7321 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.