On Nov. 29 and 30, Pioche’s annual Christmas Bazaar set up its yearly display of seasonal wares.
This year the location was changed from the Pioche Senior Center to the fire hall just down the road due to the need for a larger space. Pioche’s fire department was more than happy to have them since, according to Cheryl Flessati (one of the ladies in charge of the bazaar alongside Suzy Secrest), a significant portion of the earnings will go to the fire hall itself, which will help the fire department make needed improvements.
There were 22 vendors over the course of the two-day event, though some did not return the second day due to things like sickness and the inclement weather. These same deterrents seemed to affect some of the prospective shoppers the first day as well, since there were not as many sales on Friday. But according to Flessati, this just improved the relationship between the vendors. Saturday was a different story as the sun melted the ice on the roads. By early afternoon the fire hall was relatively full of customers.
The vendors ranged in origin and products, coming from places as close as just down the road in Pioche and as far as Southern Utah. Their products covered everything from baked goods to, in the case of Flessati, hand- sewn and crocheted items. There were also Christmas decorations and antique goods.
“This kind of stuff,” Flessati said when referring to her handmade accessories and toys, and perhaps to handmade things in general, “it’s a dying art.”
There were only a few requirements for the vendors: while they were free to set their own pricing, they were encouraged to keep them reasonable. Their items also had to be handmade, because as Flessati put it, “We could have gone to the store and just bought the stuff, but we’re proud of what we can do, what we can make.”
Dozens of people filled the fire hall, from older folks to young mothers looking for stocking stuffers. Even a few children were there admiring the dolls and food.
“When we get the younger people involved,” Flessati said, “it goes so much better.”