The Mbira Spirit and Zimbabwe Music Society will be performing at the Fiesta Bazaar this year. Photo submitted

The Mbira Spirit and Zimbabwe Music Society will be performing at the Fiesta Bazaar this year. Photo submitted

Fiesta World Craft Bazaar is turning 25

For 25 years, the Fiesta World Craft Bazaar has been bringing the wonders of the world to our Valley.

Nov. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, vendors will once again transform both floors of the Filberg Centre into the exotic bazaars of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

It will be a friendly fun meeting place, an opportunity to visit with friends over an ethnic lunch or snack, and talk to vendors about a Tibetan carpet or a shea butter face cream.

The joy of Fiesta continues to be not just the amazing, unique handmade crafts and edibles, but also the many faces of Fiesta.

The large, eye-catching portraits that decorate the walls; the smiling faces of the hardworking vendors and volunteers who are dedicated to selling quality fairly traded toys, housewares, clothing, jewelry, art pieces, and much more; the faces of the skilled artisans shown in the videos and photos; and the delighted faces of the shoppers who are finding just the right gift for that special someone.

Your purchases are providing a meaningful job rather than charity. They are keeping alive the traditional skills that have been handed down for hundreds of years.

Fiesta is ‘green’ — all of the wares are made of natural resources or recycled materials.

Half of the Fiesta vendors live in the Valley.

Ten are supporting carvers, weavers, potters, tailors, knitters and painters who live in nine countries on four continents. These resourceful, committed and caring people are giving the marginalized people of the world a hand up, giving them dignity, not charity.

Come and meet these outstanding Valley residents who are making such a global difference. You can give a hand up by buying an alternative Christmas gift. Aldea Maya works with students in ChukMuk, Guatemala, and you receive a beautiful handmade card explaining how your donation will be used.

Lunch at the Fiesta Diner will feature Janette and Lorena’s El Salvadorian pupusas and butternut squash soup, and Mintra will be showing us all how to make and eat her wonderful Thai salad rolls. There will be vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The Comox Valley Land Trust will have decadent desserts, and there will be gourmet Nicaraguan coffee and Assam tea donated by World Community.

Fiesta is a warm positive breeze that has been blowing into the Valley for 25 years because this Valley cares. Sundays are quieter, especially earlier and later in the day. Don’t worry, vendors have plenty of product to cover both days.

The entrance fee to help keep it all going is $2 and the Filberg is wheelchair friendly. There are 25 door prizes totaling $800 donated by vendors. For more information, visit the Fiesta World Craft Bazaar Facebook page.

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