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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

What to expect from this year’s 54th-annual Holiday Bazaar

Westford+Academys+barren+halls+await+the+arrival+of+its+many+vendors+for+the+Holiday+Bazaar.
Kate Kelly
Westford Academy’s barren halls await the arrival of its many vendors for the Holiday Bazaar.

WA’s Student Council (STUCO) is preparing to facilitate its 54th-annual Holiday Bazaar and second-ever since COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday, December 2, from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. 

This year, 36 WA clubs and a total of 180 vendors will be lining the halls of WA, each selling and incorporating unique services and products. There are also a few individual students who have also purchased their own table at the Bazaar and will be displaying their own specialties.

General admission tickets for the event will be sold for $3 while children under 10 and senior citizens receive free entry.

STUCO began collecting applications for booths as early as June via an online form, and officially stopped at the end of October. Despite the whopping 180 vendors attending, there are still around 15 groups who were placed on a waitlist.

“We actually had to send out [messages saying], ‘sorry, we’re completely full’ because we capped our waitlist at 15 in hopes that we wouldn’t get that many vendors that back out,” Holiday Bazaar Coordinator Danielle Mendonca said. “I would say after we had fifteen on the waitlist, we probably sent out emails to 35 or so others. There were definitely a lot of people that unfortunately we just aren’t able to fit, and the hallways are only so big.”

With an increase in vendors from last year’s Bazaar, the layout for the event has also expanded, stretching into areas such as the history wing and hallways around the guidance offices. 

“We definitely have a ton of vendors that were here before COVID and didn’t come last year, but now are returning,” senior co-chair Alex Popelka said. “So I think that is part of the reason we had so much interest from vendors: they’re finally returning from COVID.”

 

Last year’s Bazaar was the first since its absence during the pandemic, and as such, there were adjustments made to incorporate safety into the shopping experience. One implemented precaution was spacing in between vendor tables. Previously, they were organized with no spacing in between which served as an inconvenience preventing those behind a booth from moving throughout the day. 

This year, STUCO has decided to continue to space the tables by one foot, as well as maintaining two feet between the isles in the gym. They hope this will enable a less-crowded atmosphere. 

“I think it feels like it’s not as squished [with the spacing]. Obviously, on the day [of the Bazaar] it is jam-packed. It is crazy,” Mendonca said. “The public comes, everybody comes. And if we’re able to give the vendors just a little more space so they’re comfortable, it’s honestly the best option.”

Like previous years, STUCO members’ preparations will culminate the night before the actual Bazaar. Until around 10:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, members will be in charge of setting up tables and decorations throughout the first floor of the school.

Yet, the Bazaar faced another obstacle at the announcement of the SAT on the same day as the event. Due to this, other branches of student government were invited to help in preparation the night before the Bazaar, acknowledging that members taking the test must take the time needed to prep.

“Some kids can always stay until nine-ish, and we were trying to get them to stay as late as they can, but we know that they need to get a good night’s sleep before a big test the next day,” sophomore co-chair of the Bazaar committee Lauren Flaherty said. “And then these students are going to come after the test the next day […] when they can.” 

On the day of the Bazaar, STUCO members will be assigned to check in with a handful of vendors as well as given tasks to facilitate the event such as selling tickets, selling food, and parking. 

“This year we are a little more lenient with attendance, and if you have to go for two hours, we’re not going to mark you absent. But instead we are also getting those other government members and even the members at large,” senior chair Allison Lombardo said. “It is especially helpful with freshmen and sophomores because they’re not taking SATs the next day, so they can help the whole time which is gonna speed up the process a lot more.”

Despite these new adjustments, many avid vendors will be returning to the same spot they’ve been at for years. One new addition to the list will include a candy truck parked outside the school. However, New England Comfort Foods, who famously sold their mac and cheese at the event, is unable to attend this year. 

Aside from these mishaps, the planning process for this year’s Bazaar “went pretty smoothly” according to Mendonca, and STUCO will meet as early as 5:00 a.m. the day of the event to set up.

Below is a list of what WA affiliated groups are tentatively selling this year.

A list of some WA groups that will be at the Bazaar and what they will be selling. (Created by Kate Kelly)
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About the Contributor
Kate Kelly, Features Editor
Hi, my name is Kate Kelly and I’m a sophomore writing as a Features editor for the Ghostwriter. This is my second consecutive year on the staff and I'm excited for more to come! I also enjoy listening to music, playing soccer, and biking.

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