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The first-ever Holiday Bazaar at Washington Square Mall will be held this Saturday, Nov. 17, with Christmas goodies, arts, crafts, and displays from home-based businesses. Submitted Photo

Vendors pouring into mall for first ever Holiday Bazaar

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The first ever Holiday Bazaar at the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes is already being deemed a success before it's even up and running.

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The event, which is taking place Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is so full of vendors wanting to get in that mall management is having to turn people away.

"I'm so excited about the tremendous response we've gotten for this," said Mall Manager Dawn Olson, who says the idea for the event began with a little something called "Bazaar Fest," where the mall would allow non-profit groups to go into the mall and set up shop in an effort to raise funds through craft and bake sales.

"But interest began to dwindle and people were just busy, so we decided to open it up to other types of vendors as well to make a big, holiday bazaar," said Olson. "So it's going to be this mix of artists, crafters, a few home-based businesses and then our non-profits."

Olson says the Sons of Norway and ladies from the Augustana Church will be on hand with their famous, hard-to-make Scandinavian baked goods.

"They always sell out," laughed Olson, "so this year the Sons of Norway will be making extra lefse!"

About 30 artists and crafters from all over the area will be there "with bells on" to kick off the start of the holiday season as shoppers begin the sometimes difficult job of finding that certain something for that certain somebody.

"You know, when you've been buying presents for somebody for 10, 20, 30 years, it gets hard to find something," said Olson, "and so it's a great place to find those unique gifts that you know they'll really appreciate and enjoy."

Olson says the mixture of vendors is also what is unique, as typically craft shows have one type of item or another.

"But I'm calling this the holiday bazaar of the year to go to because it's really a one-stop-shop with all sorts of different organizations and crafts," said Olson, who says to expect homemade jams and jellies, carefully crafted necklaces with tiny ornaments inside them and much more.

"We even have Zach Gabbard's mother, Maridee Gabbard, who will be selling the book she wrote about Zach," said Olson, referring to the Perham high school basketball player who suffered a heart attack during a game.

Olson also points out that unlike some craft shows, admission into the mall is free.

"And it's such a great time to come, too, because we're going to be all decked out for the holidays and so it's going to be just beautiful in there," said Olson, who says she expects the baked goods to go like hot cakes with the event being right before Thanksgiving.

"And if people haven't been in the mall for a while, we invite them to come and check it out because we are very full," said Olson. "We have only three vacancies, and so there are so many different stores and places to eat. I'm just so excited; it's going to be fantastic."

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