A new Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES event will allow you to paint pumpkins, go trick-or-treating, eat from food trucks, browse local crafters and vendors, support both student activities and local veterans and more all in one place.
The first Spooktacular Vendor Bazaar takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Remington Educational Complex at 77 E. North St. in Ilion.
This event is a fundraiser for the Herkimer BOCES SkillsUSA student club and will help students participate in trades-skills competitions at the local, state, regional and national level. In lieu of an entrance fee, guests are encouraged to consider a donation of a non-perishable food, household or hygiene item to support Feed Our Vets.
“We’re excited to start this new event that not only will support student activities and Feed Our Vets, but also should be fun for the community,” Herkimer BOCES cosmetology instructor and SkillsUSA advisor Holly Rotundo Fischer said. “We decided if we’re going to do it, then we should do it big.”
The Kids Corner portion of the Spooktacular Vendor Bazaar will feature trick-or-treat stations, pumpkin painting, face painting and fall crafts.
Vendors and products for sale for the event include Thirty One, Senegence, Lula Roe, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, Do Terra, Rodan & Fields, local honey and homemade and handmade items.
There also will be a Chinese auction and bake sale.
Two food trucks, The Corner Office and Mangia Macrina’s Wood Fired Pizza, will be on hand, and the owners have pledged to donate portions of their proceeds to the fundraiser.
Each year, students in the Herkimer BOCES chapter of SkillsUSA compete in local SkillsUSA competitions and have the opportunity to advance to the regional conference at Morrisville State College, the state conference at the Syracuse Fairgrounds and the national conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
Last school year, three Herkimer BOCES students – Brandon Ward, Brandon Loiacano and Alyssa Cummings placed – at the state conference. Cummings won first place and advanced to the national conference.
Funds raised for the SkillsUSA Herkimer BOCES chapter will also be used for leadership activities and social gatherings designed to create a school community by having students from various career and technical education classes network with each other, Fischer said.
“These are the 21st century skills they should be building before they leave here,” she said.
Collecting donations for Feed Our Vets is part of an ongoing SkillsUSA community service project this school year. The Herkimer BOCES chapter is competing with others in SkillsUSA Area II to see which chapter can collect the most donations to win a plaque and bragging rights.
The donations will go to the Feed Our Vets Utica and Watertown locations, so bringing items to the Spooktacular Vendor Bazaar will support the students’ community service project and help local veterans, Fischer said.
SkillsUSA participation also has increased this year – with students from almost all of the Herkimer BOCES CTE programs now involved, Fischer said.
“It’s exciting to see,” she said.
If you’re interested in being a crafter or vendor at the Spooktacular Vendor Bazaar, contact Fischer at Herkimer BOCES at 315-867-2043.