Polish pottery, blueberry potpourri, Persian rugs, cast-iron pots, chocolates, candied peanuts and more greeted visitors venturing to the garrison’s annual summer bazaar.
Shoppers and strollers flooded the special events warehouse to purchase goods from some 75 vendors from around the world during the event, held from June 7 to 9 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
Shopper Melody Arnold said she especially enjoyed combing through the vast array of international items brought in for the bazaar. Arnold and her husband lived in the KMC for a little less than a year and said this is their third bazaar.
“It’s a very unique opportunity to see things from all over the world and I can’t actually travel to them so it’s great that they brought them to us,” Arnold said. “I got a basket, a colander and I’ve tasted different jellies, a little bit of wine, a little cheese and I love it all.”
One of the most popular booths at the bazaar is the Old Dutch Cheese Company, where vendor Jacobina Kosman lined her table with samples of 25 different types of gouda cheese, from spicy jalapeño to a bright green wasabi. She and her husband hail from Holland and have traveled the bazaar circuit for nearly 25 years.
“It started in the early years when we were invited to an event in the Netherlands and then you get invited to other ones,” Kosman said. “My husband and I do it together and we just liked it and we wanted to keep coming.”
Many customers already know the Kosmans and their cheese. The couple is happy to serve the community, Jacobina Kosman said.
That’s good news for Tatia Kruegar, budget assistant for Morale, Welfare and Recreation Kaiserslautern Financial Management.
Kruegar and an army of workers labor around the clock to ensure each bazaar goes as smoothly as possible from start to finish. The team handles everything from logistics to distributing bunches of bright helium balloons to some of the younger stroller-bound “shoppers.”
“We do this for the Soldiers and the KMC military families that may not have the opportunity to travel to these locations,” Kruegar said. “A lot of our vendors come from outside of Germany. We have Italian vendors here, Belgian vendors and these are things that are not part of the local setting around Kaiserslautern. It brings it all together in one central place where KMC members can shop.”
The garrison hosts the community bazaars each year in March, June and November on ROB. For details, go online and visit http://kaiserslautern.armymwr.com.