By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on November 15, 2022
The 2022 All Saints Episcopal Church Holly Days Bazaar and Arts Festival would have been the 20th annual collection of artists, crafts, food and more. But two years were lost to COVID, so it’s the 18th Holly Days Bazaar and Arts Festival.
The two-day event will be held on Friday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. The church is located at 40 Pintail Trail in Southern Shores.
It’s difficult to verify how the Festival compares in size to similar events on the Outer Banks, but event Co-chair Arline Arnold said “This is the largest craft show on the Outer Banks. We have forty vendors coming in.”
In many ways, the 2022 version will be like past Holly Days Festivals, with unique gifts and plenty of gourmet food items filling the church. But after a two-year hiatus, there are two new co-chairs organizing the event, Arnold and Vip Vipavetez.
The main features of the Holly Days Bazaar and Arts Festival are the Outer Banks artists and skilled crafts people who will be on hand. The vendors Arnold mentioned include some of the most respected local artists. James Melvin will be at the church with his remarkable paintings of Outer Banks scenes. Noah Snyder, another well-known local painter and artist, will be there as well.
The Festival, though, is not limited to painters; quite a number of jewelry artists will be there. There will also be handmade soaps, candles and one-of-a-kind pottery items.
Most importantly, the festival is an All Saints fundraiser. In the past, most of the proceeds were used to pay the expenses of the church, with a small portion left to donate to the community. Over the past two years, however, a mortgage payment the church owed has been retired, and this year, for the first time, all proceeds will go back to the community.
“We have been able to pay off the church mortgage,” Tim McKeithan, chair of the All Saints marketing committee said. “All of the net proceeds will go to the Outreach Committee.”
“We have a list of charities on the Outer Banks that we [All Saints] contribute to,” Arnold added. “We can make recommendations, but it’s going to be up to our church council to decide what charities the money goes to, and it should be around $20,000 to $30,000.”
The funds are raised in a variety of ways. The vendors are charged a fee for their booths, but each of them also contributes an item to a silent auction. Local businesses contribute services and products as well. There is also the previously used toy and jewelry sale, something Arnold pointed to as one of the most traditionally popular parts of the festival.
“It’s all cleaned up and ready for sale. That’s a big deal…You can hardly get into the church because they’re all heading for the jewelry,” she said.
Another highlight is the gourmet bake sale.
“It’s all done by church volunteers,” Arnold said, describing some of the goods that will be available. “Dawn Kiousis of Stack ‘em High Pancakes is preparing 250 casseroles, and they’re sold out by mid-day Saturday. Tess [Judge] makes a chocolate cake that’s very famous.”
It takes a lot of work to get the church in shape for two days of rooms filled with 40 vendor booths, silent auction items, baked goods and lots of people. The entire church, both wings, have to be emptied.
“This is an active church until 12:30 Wednesday, with a day school, when we suddenly stop everything and empty out the sanctuary, all the classrooms, everything,” McKeithan explained. “Charles Hardy is donating trailers, and we lug everything into these trailers by Thursday morning,”
That’s only half the process, because the church has to be ready on Sunday for morning services. “On Saturday night, we have to put it all back,” McKeithan said. “We’re not a large congregation,” he said, noting that the real labor is done by volunteer high school students.
There is a tremendous amount of time and effort that goes into creating the Holly Days Festival, but for the event chairs, it’s something vitally important for the mission of the church.
“The needs of the community are being realized right here with his church, and the church becomes a part to provide a means to help the needy people in the community and to bring the community together,” Vipavetez said.