Elbert Christmas Bazaar draws crowd for crafts, apple dumplings

Elbert Woman's Club raises money for Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building

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The 56th Annual Elbert Christmas Bazaar was a roaring success as thousands of people descended upon the Town of Elbert to shop for the holiday and get a taste of the Elbert Woman’s Club famous apple dumplings.
 
The event was held on Nov. 12 at both the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building and the Elbert School gym. The two buildings were filled to the brim with vendors selling handmade crafts including fiber arts, photography prints, pottery, metalwork, woodwork and Christmas decorations. Some vendors also sold homemade jams, jarred foods and sweet, sugary treats. This year there were 75 vendors from across the Denver metro area.
 
“I’ve been coming to this event for the past 10 years with my neighbors. We drive in from Larkspur. I love the ladies group that runs the event and the apple dumplings too,” said Barbara Mathern, vendor and seller of crocheted, felted and wood-burned crafts. “This is my second year selling. It is a really great crowd and a good place to sell. I really love this cool old-fashioned building.”
 
The Elbert Woman’s Club sold 1,125 apple dumplings this year. They also served a menu of soups, hot dogs and sloppy joes out of their kitchen at the back of the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building. All sales go toward the renovations of the building that serves as a community center for the Town of Elbert.
 
Due to the growing social media presence of the Elbert Woman’s Club, news of the yearly Elbert Christmas Bazaar has been reaching people outside of Elbert County. This year the farthest traveling vendor came from Golden, with others driving in from Aurora, Castle Rock and Larkspur to sell their crafts.
 
One woman drove in from Centennial to attend the event and try the famous apple dumplings. “It feels good to be able to support local crafters and enjoy the great space that the renovated Russell Gates building provides,” said Laura Jakos of Centennial. “The apple dumplings were definitely the star of the bazaar, and it is lovely to see the community of women organize such a popular and fun craft fair.”
 
While attending the bazaar, the Elbert County News caught up with event founder Beverly Gresham. The 87-year-old Gresham started the event in the 1960s with her mother and several other ladies from the now-defunct Elbert chapter of The Grange organization. Gresham and many younger members of her family maintain a booth from year to year at the front of the main hall of the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building. Together they sell sewing and leather crafts, woodwork and homemade cinnamon rolls.
 
“When the event first started, we had booths that took up the whole corner. The event was just family and there were only a few people who came. It just built up more and more every year,” said Gresham. “Seeing all the people gives me joy. I don’t care if I sell anything, as long as I see the people.”
 
To keep up with future events, including the 2023 Elbert Christmas Bazaar, follow the Elbert Woman’s Club on Facebook at facebook.com/TownofElbert.
Elbert Christmas Bazaar, apple dumplings, Elbert Woman's Club, Elbert County, Colorado

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