By AMY HEGGEN Press-Republican
---- — CHAMPLAIN — The 46th-annual St. Mary’s Bazaar offers a weekend of carnival-style games, prizes, food, fun, live entertainment and more for all ages.
The bazaar kicks off today with amusement rides, karaoke and concessions from 4 to 8 p.m. on the grounds of the former St. Mary’s Academy. Festivities continue through the weekend with a variety of other activities from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Donna Gero, a coordinator of the bazaar, is looking forward to the parish and community gathering together to have fun.
“It’s lively and it’s spirited, and it brings us together,” Gero said.
Laura Trahan, secretary of St. Mary’s Parish, said new this year is an indoor craft show.
The craft fair, featuring jewelry, quilts, wooden items and more, is open Friday through Sunday. In addition to the craft fair, a country store selling small household items, clothing, collectibles and homemade baked goods will also run for the duration of the bazaar.
Meanwhile, an auction at 10 a.m. Saturday run by Bridge Street Auction in Plattsburgh will include many items from the former academy such as desks, chairs and cabinets as well as community-donated items like snowshoes, water skis, couches and lamps, Gero said.
A book sale will be held in the library both Saturday and Sunday.
“Our school closed last June, and we need to get rid of some of the items,” Trahan said.
The Princess Pageant, also a new event for the bazaar, begins at 3 p.m. Saturday. Girls ages 5 to 10 can register for the pageant until 1 p.m. Saturday. Preregistration costs $25; day-of-show entry fee is $35. Gero said there will be no makeup or high heels, and girls can wear dresses, costumes or their Sunday best.
“At the end, we will all have balloons and cake so that it becomes a celebration rather than a competition,” Gero said.
Winners of the pageant will be the grand marshals for the parade on Sunday.
Poutine, pizza, nachos, hot dogs and hamburgers, along with cotton candy, fried dough and ice cream will be sold at the bazaar. The chicken barbecue at 11 a.m. Sunday and the sausage shack are both run by the Champlain Volunteer Fire Department.
Local band Overdrive will play from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and the parade with a brass band as well as bagpipes begins at noon on Sunday.
The bazaar will conclude with a raffle drawing at 6 p.m. Sunday. First prize is a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan, second prize is $1,000, and the third-prize winner receives $500. Raffle tickets are $20 each, or buy five and get the sixth free.
“All the funds (from the bazaar) will go to the parish … it’s going to pay off some of our debt,” Trahan said.
The bazaar is open to the public with no general admittance fee. For more information, visit www.stmarys-church-champlain.org.