Bizarre Bazaar works to live up to its name

PUBLISHED IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

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From left to right: John Beckman, Leona Jurincie, Laura Mannion, Mark Metzger, Sarah Koster, Christine Griggs, Tim Petries, and Rich Barnes gather for the 10th annual Hammond Bizarre Bazaar on Sept. 20. (Hammond Bizarre Bazaar / Handout)

 

The 10th annual Hammond Bizarre Bazaar, a day of wacky and eccentric fun, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Hammond Bizarre Bazaar’s attractions include arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, children’s games, art activities, a motorcycle and car show, a Scrabble scramble, a chess tournament, a bean bag tournament, a 5K run/walk, live music from an Elvis impersonator, a pie baking contest and pony rides.

From noon to 2 p.m., the Bizarre Bazaar will open the dungeon door to Svengoolie, the Chicago TV horror show icon. Guests also can meet Bobby “Circus Boy” Hunt from 1 to 3 p.m. Hunt is a former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performer who has opened for musical acts, including “Weird” Al Yankovic, The Beach Boys and Billy Ray Cyrus.

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Bobby “Circus Boy” Hunt will be performing at the Hammond Bizarre Bazaar in Hammond. 

“I’m excited that we’re adding Svengoolie. People love him. I also like that a lot of people are dressing up in their favorite horror characters,” said Karen Maravilla, board president of the Downtown Hammond Council.

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TV sensation Svengoolie will also be at the Hammond Bizarre Bazaar.

The Downtown Hammond Council is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works to revitalize, beautify and promote the downtown district of Hammond.

“Our downtown has gone through a lot of change over the years. Our organization works toward making the downtown a better place. It’s a very diverse business space, and there are a lot of nice things to do. It helps showcase our downtown district,” Maravilla said.

Contests also are on the schedule at the Hammond Bizarre Bazaar.

“We have a best dressed vendor contest. We judge them on their costume and enthusiasm for a prize,” Maravilla said.

“We have a lot of great gift certificates to get to places that people want to go to. Not $100 gift cards; maybe they’ll have a silly value like $99.57 to keep with the theme,” Maravilla said.

According to Maravilla, there is, “no charge to get in and none for parking. There is a nominal fee for some events, but a lot of them are sponsored. We wanted to make it a family-friendly event.”

Beth Casey is a freelance writer.

Hammond Bizarre Bazaar

Harrison Park, Hohman Avenue and Waltham Street, Hammond

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Free admission

Downtownhamond.org

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