Meals on Wheels bazaar allows early holiday shopping

Last year, Wacoans prepared for the holidays with homemade gifts at the Meals on Wheels 38th annual Apple Tree Bazaar arts and crafts show. Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Moseley

By KJ Burkley | Reporter

Meals on Wheels “39th annual Apple Tree Bazaar” fine arts and crafts show encourages the Waco community to gear up for early holiday shopping this weekend.

The bazaar will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum. Food trucks will be present featuring popular Waco eats.

Paula Owen, the Apple Tree Coordinator for the past 20 years, said the sale originally focused one providing a platform for seniors to showcase their talent.

“We started 29 years ago with the idea of providing an opportunity for the seniors of Waco,” said Owen. “We wanted to give elder artists a space to sell arts and crafts, kind of providing protection from younger vendors.”

Christmas ornaments, jam preserves, and jewelry are just a fraction of what over 70 vendors will display in this year’s show. Peggy Lane, a volunteer board member, said that the unique part of this event is that only hand-made items are allowed.

“We only let hand-made items be up for sale in the bazaar,” said Lane. “Nothing bought from any markets can be sold. That’s what makes this event special every year. Everything is personal, everything is hand-made and that’s what people love about the show.”

The market is expansive as it can be. Owen said vendors look forward to returning every year, and Waco residents look forward avoiding long lines at big chain shopping stores in exchange for authentic, hand-crafted taste.

The bazaar has outgrown the original expectations that Meals on Wheels had in its first year. However, Owen said that the market would bloom even more with college students planting their holiday shopping interests at the bazaar if they learned more about it.

“I think that a lot of young people simply don’t know and haven’t seen what the older generation crafts,” said Owen. “They are such skilled and gifted artists. They provide a different perspective. They take pride in their work and have so much joy too. We always appreciate students coming but would love if more would take the time to come out and enjoy.”

For the first time this year, there will be a VIP Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. For $30 a ticket, shoppers can enjoy food, live music and entertainment, including a feature showing of local contemporary artist Kermit Oliver. However, regular tickets for the Bazaar are $5 for a one-day pass, and $7 for both days.