When the aroma of sausage sandwiches, pizza frittas, Mexican food and roasted corn permeates the air around Welby, residents will know without looking on their calendars that it’s time for Assumption Catholic Church’s annual Bazaar.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Welby will hold its bazaar 6-11 p.m. Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27; and 4-9 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at the church, 2361 E. 78th Ave.
“The parishioners at Assumption Church have been putting on a bazaar for 91 years now, so they know a thing or two about how to do it right,” said Chris Frank, a fourth-generation parishioner. “Though it is called a bazaar because of the many booths with games, raffles and food, many of the old timers still call it a feast, which comes from the Italian ‘festa’ or holiday.”
The church began more than 100 years ago as a small parish for the farmers of the area, and the bazaar was originally held in November when the parishioners had finished the farming season, Frank said.
“The bazaar was held indoors at the school along with a spaghetti dinner,” he said. “When the parish grew too large to fit indoors, around 1960, they decided to move the date to the summer and hold it outdoors. The spaghetti dinner was ultimately separated from the bazaar and is now held in the spring.”
Frank said the event is the biggest fundraiser for the church and the pre-K-through-eighth-grade school. Annual attendance is about 5,000, with nearly 250 volunteers making it all happen.
“The main benefit of the bazaar is to celebrate the tradition and build community for a parish that is the cornerstone of Welby,” Frank said.
“Some of the families that run many of the booths have been doing it for generations, and they have it down to a science. It is also a time for people who have moved away to come back and catch up with old friends.”
Along with a variety of food, the bazaar will feature a 50/50 cash prize raffle, children’s games and rides, and live music by the DeLeone Brothers Band.