The notion came upon a gaggle of schoolgirls more than 100 years ago to raise money for their beloved St. Joseph School.

The youngsters felt the need for many refinements for the school, whose educational tools at this point were fairly meager.

So out of a simple launching in 1912 when the Sisters of Notre Dame agreed with the students to sell needlework pieces and other commodities, evolved the St Joseph Church grand bazaar, one of the most wondrous of shows.

It is undoubtedly the oldest funfest in Faulkner County and perhaps in the state.

So on August 1 and 2 and again on August 9, the St. Joseph Church will present its fundraising spectacle that supports Catholic education in the community by the simple expedient of offering wholesome fun, fabulous food and outstanding bargains in the enormous flea market.

Beyond all that, the bazaar contributes an exhilarating sense of association that has drawn fans from far and near to this place of discovery. Here there are lively moments to enjoy everywhere the eye travels.

The bazaar has been an enduring event, a time when the Catholic presence in the community holds sway and manifests its goodwill. Not to mention the elegant gifts that attract the eye of those who find themselves taking part in the live and silent auctions, hoping to win the rich automotive raffle prize and other spoils.

From Jacqueline Kordsmeier, executive director of the St. Joseph Church endowment office, comes word that the upcoming bazaar will revert to the traditional two day (Friday and Saturday) Midway with the bazaar auction commencing on the following Saturday. This year the midway will bring back the old favorites like the Four-Leaf Clover game and will continue the traditional games such as the Country Store, Bingo, Fish Pond, Pinko and the Animal Fair, to name a few.

The Midway will be in full flower at 5:30 on Friday and again on Saturday on the church grounds. The day will culminate with the drawing for the Grand Prize of the bazaar, a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The second prize this year is a 50-inch television and the third prize a Remington 870 Super Magnum Express 12 Gauge gun.

The Bazaar auction will take place on Saturday, August 9, in the parish hall where the doors will open at 6 p.m. and the silent auction bidding starting at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction beginning at 8:45. Tickets go for $30 in advance or $35 at the door.

Live auction offerings include, for example, a wild game dinner, tail gate packages at the University of Central University sports events, a weekend cabin sojourn, fancy desserts and breads, and jewelry from Fletcher Smith Jewelry and Dayer’s Jewelry.

The traditional family style dinner presents a fabulous meal of fried chicken with all the traditional sides galore. The cost: $6 for children 6-11 and $12 for adults.

Box lunches will be available on Friday August 1 from 10:30 a. m. to 1 p.m. The cost: $9 per box.

Accompanying the frenetic schedule of events is the timeless flea market with its countless shoes, furniture pieces and numberless items of clothing available for the looking and buying. Over the years, many visitors have left toting unexpected valuable finds. Valuable coins, historical papers and other memorabilia have been uncovered.

In years gone by, women have been seen scrounging through the piles of clothing searching for odd pieces to augment their wardrobes, while mothers look diligently for baby clothes and outfits for kids with the school year at hand.