Every town has something they are known for. Whether it be an item they sell, a business that thrives, or a town celebration, they take pride in it. Since the Thanksgiving Bazaar began in 1925, it has become a tradition for many in our town. Father Theodore Buelt started this celebration as a fundraiser for the Church and when it first began, the main attendants were Churchgoers. When others in town started to realize how good the food was, they started to attend as well. As mothers realized they could enjoy a delicious thanksgiving meal without having to do the dishes, it became a family tradition for many in the community. Families have grown since the bazaar has started and many of them come back to honor their family’s tradition. Starting out as just another town event, it has evolved into one of Elgin’s largest events and the Church’s most profitable fundraiser because of the hard work and dedication of those who help put it on.
Community members such as Juan Hoefer have enjoyed coming to the bazaar ever since they were children. “I’ve never known anything else but coming to the bazaar with my family on Thanksgiving,” says Hoefer. Only missing the bazaar once because of a sick child, she has seen it grow throughout the years. Every St. Boniface Church member that is able is assigned a job, and many times, keeps that job for as long as they can do it. Serving a meal this big takes a lot of help and the members of St. Boniface Church are always up for the challenge.
Some of those who have attended the bazaar for many years remember the days when it was served in the St. Boniface School basement. Jim Meis, took his future wife Shirley Meis, on a date to the bazaar while it was still held in the school basement. There have been many other changes to make the meal go as smoothly as possible, such as going from two meals to one in 2012.
Many enjoy attending the bazaar because of the great food, but it also provides a place for those who may not have their own family celebration to go to. Whatever the reason for attending, the community members and St. Boniface Church members appreciate the support of this celebration.
It has been serving Thanksgiving meal for over 90 years and we hope for many more!