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Originally published Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 7:01 PM

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Bazaars head us toward the holidays

Swedish Cultural Center Holiday Bazaar and Polish Fall Bazaar, Nov. 3-4, Seattle.

Seattle Times staff

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Holiday shopping with a creative, homespun atmosphere is in full swing at a variety of bazaars around Puget Sound this weekend. Holiday décor and gift ideas, mostly homemade by local crafters, are available at venues ranging from small, one-day events with a few vendors to two-day extravaganzas with entertainment, food and a big selection of crafts.

Hundreds of fans regularly attend the monthly first-Sunday Swedish pancake breakfasts at Seattle's Swedish Cultural Center, and this weekend's SCC Holiday Bazaar extends the fun and food throughout the weekend.

Browse for gifts and something for yourself from 35 vendors of colorful arts and crafts including Finnish Christmas stockings, painted "Dala Hast" Swedish horse carvings and other mostly Scandinavian items. Fuel your shopping days with meatballs, pea soup, shrimp sandwiches and Swedish cookies Saturday, Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and pea soup Sunday, and aquavit and more at the bar both days.

Swedes aren't the only ethnic group kicking off the holidays. The Friday-night dinners at Seattle's Polish Home Association also have a lot of local fans, and their pickle soup, borscht, pierogi, Polish sausage and cabbage-roll dinners are featured all this weekend at the Polish Fall Bazaar.

More goodies are available at the bakery and dessert bar and the Polish delicatessen with sausage, sauerkraut, pickles and candy. The Ladies Auxiliary Polish Cookbook is on sale if you're inspired to make your own tasty delights at home, and the upstairs hall offers a selection of Polish crafts including pottery, crystal, jewelry, books and holiday decorations.

Many bazaar fans plan a day of shopping at several sales; see "Sales/Bazaars" in Community Datebook for information about more than 20 events this weekend. Note that cash is often the preferred form of payment, since many of the vendors are small, home-based businesses. Admission to most bazaars is free, though some ask for a small donation for entrance.

The details

• Swedish Cultural Center Holiday Bazaar

Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday; pancake breakfast 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: $1 admission donation.

Location: Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle.

More information: 206-283-1090 or swedishculturalcenter.org.

• Polish Fall Bazaar

Time: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Cost: Free admission.

Location: Polish Home Association, 1714 18th Ave., Seattle.

More information: 206-322-3020 or www.polishhome.org.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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