Group of smiling women with colorful clothes at the World Bazaar

Sip Ethopian coffee, sample Iraqi bread, indulge in Middle Eastern candy and fashion yourself in African dresses and scarves. You don’t have to jet set around the world to enjoy this experience. All you need to do is take a ride to Valley Metro’s park-and-ride at 19th Ave/Camelback this Saturday, Dec. 3. Dozens of parking spaces will undergo a makeover for one day, morphing into a celebration of culture, community and diversity in the Phoenix area. The World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market is back for the second time this year after the success of the inaugural event this past May. The free family event focuses on giving refugee and minority business owners the opportunity to showcase their products and services in front of thousands of attendees in a fun atmosphere.

The event will feature more than fifty vendors from the community to offer a local shopping experience with a global feel. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some holiday shopping done while supporting local businesses. Vendors and items available include African beadwork, dresses, scarves, jewelry, baskets and gifts, Middle Eastern women’s fashion and jewelry, crafts made by refugee women, and more. A KidsZone will feature face painting, hair braiding and other fun activities. Attendees will be able to sample a diverse array of cuisine and beverages like Ethiopian coffee, Iraqi bread, Middle Eastern baklava and locally grown foods at the farmer's market area.

“The World Bazaar is a unique opportunity for the local community to really meet their neighbors and build community,” said Nicky Walker, Development Manager for International Rescue Committee. “More than just a fun event for the entire family, the World Bazaar is a wonderful way to welcome each other and build bridges across cultures.” During an election season that has labeled refugees and minorities as a danger to our country, local organizations are linking arms to showcase the strength and vibrancy that diverse groups add to the community.

“People may not be familiar with their new neighbors who have recently settled here from another country,” said Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “This event allows folks of all backgrounds to build community awareness and pride.” The event is held along a key commercial corridor, where the city of Phoenix and LISC are actively engaged in neighborhood revitalization efforts. The 19th Ave/Camelback Park-and-Ride is not only a highly utilized transit connection point, it is also an area slated for new development. The vision for the World Bazaar and Phoenix Community Market is to celebrate the culture and diversity of our neighbors on a local level while opening up a world of opportunity for those who are now making the Phoenix area their home.

World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
19th Ave/Camelback Park-and-Ride
Free to attend.

Products and services will be available for purchase. Attendees who show their Valley Metro Rail fare at the event will be entered to win prizes. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Thanks to the support from the city of Phoenix, Local First Arizona, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Vitalyst Health Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Mountain Park Health Center and Valley Metro for helping create this multi-cultural event.

Anna Darian
LISC Phoenix