If you have spent much time in any military community, you have probably heard about the mythical Ramstein Bazaar. When you meet someone who’s been and they start reminiscing about the hangars filled with treasures — colorful Polish pottery, vintage finds, and the wide selection of wines — they get a kind of wistful look of contentment and an air of longing about them. For the last 52 years, the annual Ramstein Bazaar has been a core event in the KMC, supporting every aspect of military life. To continue in this awesome tradition, we present the 52nd annual Ramstein Bazaar: “A Year of Treasures.”
Hosted annually by the 86th Force Support Squadron, working through the Ramstein Officers’ Spouses Club, this event depends entirely on the help of community volunteers to be a success. This year the bazaar takes place Thursday to Sept. 18 on Ramstein and will feature more than 130 vendors, including 20 vendors making their Bazaar debut. Vendors are carefully selected from all over Europe, including Russia, France, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and, of course, Germany. This variety means there is something for everyone.
While the shopping is great, it’s not just about the vendors. You will also find a wide assortment of imbiss-style and fair food choices. Each booth, operated as a fundraiser by Ramstein private organizations, features a unique offering and makes a great lunch or dinner stop. The inviting atmosphere and plenty of fest-style seating makes it an ideal place to meet up with friends and neighbors and spend time with your family.
“The bazaar is a great event that not only brings families and friends together but supports the community,” said Amanda Elliot, Ramstein Bazaar chairperson. “The proceeds that go towards our organizations and programs are invaluable. I can only hope that all who attend the bazaar find a treasure for themselves or as a gift.”
The four-day shopping extravaganza is a far cry from its humble beginnings. In September 1965 with 66 vendors, 11 volunteers raised an impressive $5,000 for the community. In contrast, the volunteers of the 52nd bazaar will log more than 10,000 service hours to once again raise over a quarter of a million dollars for the KMC. In 2015, a staggering $263,000 was given back to the community. So far in 2016, more than $60,000 has been awarded in scholarships, $33,000 to local schools, and almost $39,000 to various other community projects and programs that build and strengthen the local and national military community.
Volunteering and shopping at the bazaar is a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. It’s a great venue to indulge in some traditional European treasures while supporting thousands of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and their families. If you have time to volunteer, we would love to have you join us. With over a half century of service to the community, you don’t want to miss your opportunity to be a part of the legacy.
Ramstein Bazaar information
• Hangars 1 and 2 and giant tent
• Sept. 15: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — stroller day
• Sept. 16: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — stroller day
• Sept. 17: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Sept. 18: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact sites for more information and volunteers