The start of the holiday shopping season is underway. American shoppers recognize Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as the traditional start of the shopping season in preparation for Christmas while in Whistler, Bizarre Bazaar launches the holiday shopping season. The annual two-day event at the Whistler Conference Centre attracted more than 100 vendors. The Saturday and Sunday shopping event is billed as Whistler’s original artisan market. Shoppers flock to the event to find unique, quality, hand-made art and crafts made by people from all over B.C.
This weekend marked the 24th annual Bizarre Bazaar in Whistler.
Vendor Karen Yaremkewich said she recalled visiting the event as a teen with her mother. She was on hand this weekend with her son selling upcycled goods including handmade burlap banners, cork key chains and clothing items.
“It wasn’t called Bizarre Bazaar back then,” said Yaremkewich. “But it grew into Bizarre Bazaar. It was held at Myrtle Philip School back then.”
According to Yaremkewich and other vendors, the conference centre drew good traffic both days but the first day was busier than the second day.
For the first time, Bratz Biz and Bizarre Bazaar operated on the same weekend under the same roof. Bratz Biz is a youth entrepreneur event that has become a Whistler tradition. This year marked the seventh year of promoting entrepreneurial spirit and creativity amongst young business operators.
The Bratz Biz participants included Katie Wolfe who was selling jewelry and Gabby Flynn selling home crafted gift cards.
Sierra Watton was at the event with her knitted scarves.
Other young vendors were selling candies, functional duct tape bags, sock monkeys, dog beds, Christmas decorations and more.
Customers at Bizarre Bazaar included American visitors in the resort celebrating the American Thanksgiving weekend and the official opening weekend of Whistler and Blackcomb. Blackcomb Mountain started operating its lifts on Thursday following an earlier start for the Whistler Mountain lift system.
The mountains are reporting a snow base of 110cm with the Peak2Peak Gondola now open for winter operations. The alpine forecast is calling for flurries to start Wednesday building up to periods of snow on Thursday. Up to 14cm of snow is expected on Thursday.