Surat, Gujarat
6 hours ago

Granite City Bizarre Bazaar Winter Market 2023

Posted by Alesia Gitter on

Twin Cities Geeks discord was talking about how great Granite City events were so I went ahead and registered for this event. It was affordable but an hour away from me in St. Cloud. Worth the drive? Definitely! We'd actually been to the location previously when my daughter was on the YMCA swim team. 

Communication was through email or the Facebook group. Honestly, I didn't have to ask much as they even emailed us to remind that we needed the ST-19 to be turned in as well as told us what the tax rates were for the area! Made it very, very easy.

They advertised a lot. I feel like this was great personally since I hadn't heard too much about most of these events. I don't even live in St. Cloud or anywhere near it and it was mentioned in a few groups I was in.

Before the Event & Setup
I didn't get any cash before this and just went with whatever I had on me. Whoops. I had previously deposited the money from last months shows together and didn't think much about this event until the morning of. 

I preloaded my car the night before! It made things so much better. Please do this! I know I kept saying I would do it but I finally did. It's a good idea. I also finally got a wagon from Target.


I also made the effort to make a proper image to advertise before the event. The event actually ended at 4pm and this map was not correct so while it was completely wrong due to what they had been sending and advertising to us, it was still cute. 

Load in was at 7:30am and it was a pleasant surprise to us when we pulled in so we knew it was a nice location immediately! I think we arrived around 8:30am (maybe slightly after) since my setup is simple. They had a load in area but it was packed as you can imagine. I parked in front of the swimming area and just used the handicap ramp to pull my wagon up. Once we got everything inside, set up was quick. My daughter has the plush on lock and it was quick for me to get the pins onto the spinning rack. 

I actually made two sales before the event even started since I was getting my ornaments onto the display and I wish I could remember the vendors name but, her friend lost her dogs in a fire. Her friend had huskies, so she bought two as gifts. It's still really hard hearing about loss when selling ornaments but I am glad they can bring some joy to people.

The Event Itself
The event seemed to have vetted people very well. Vendors were a good variety and I saw people you'd normally find at big conventions at this event which was great. I met so many awesome people and a ton of corgi people! St. Cloud is definitely a location that, while inconvenient and far, I would probably go to again. It's far enough away from my local venues that it gives me some fresh faces.

I made what I considered to be a good amount of sales given my expectations were pretty low in general. There was a good amount of traffic for a venue that felt extremely out of the way to get to. I am not even sure where people parked since it didn't seem like we were asked to park out of the way as vendors.

They had Jets pizza we could buy, candy and some other food I forget because it wasn't something I would eat. We snacked on some Sour Patch Kids, had some water and cheese pizza since the pepperoni was sold out already. 

Around lunch was my busiest time for sales. Not sure why this is the trend but I am learning you basically need to be full going into the lunch hour.

Prices were NOT low at this event. I felt makers were charging their worth which I hadn't been seeing at the other events. Craft fairs, for example, people charge so little since people seem to be after deals despite things being handmade and labor not being free. In fact, I will never understand the craft fair market at all. People at this event were looking for gifts and trinkets so it was a nice mix of personal and gift shoppers. 

My glass blowing teacher from college was at the event since there was SAT testing going on in the building at the time so I half wonder if that was intentionally planned or not (from the event coordinators). Either way it worked nicely and it was great to see him. He's why I love Preston Singletary so much. Anyways, he bought some items and completely made my day.

I didn't really talk to many booths around me which is completely different than other events. I did talk to Brittney who was there from Wolf Dynasty Studios (and is also a fellow corgi owner!!) - but she was allll the way across the room. I didn't get away from my booth very often since a lot of people were stopping by.

I was asked if I sewed my own plush, which I do not, and then asked if I was selling things for someone else. When I had walked off, someone asked my daughter what animated series my stuff was from. Another person asked if I was selling things to give to dogs. I'm not sure if they meant charity or if my plush were for pets but either way it was still a no. That was the first event no one asked me if they were covid plush, so that was nice.

For the most part, time flew. It didn't feel like the event was dragging on until the very, very end which is fine. It ended earlier than advertised (due to a misprint) but I was okay with that as we were super ready for dinner. Loading out was easier than loading in, so we were out of there fairly quick once it was over.

What Worked & What Did Not
I didn't like that the swim side doors had been locked so we couldn't use that entryway to enter and exit, as that is where my vehicle was located so it would have been more convenient for a few of us in the back of the gym.

The event had a lot of wonderful staff that would hold doors and check on us. We were given water and fans (like paper fans). The carts people could borrow were easy to find and at the front. The event coordinator was checking on all of us which I super appreciated. 

Booth sizes were great. I didn't like the inaccuracy of the time listed as well as the location being reversed, but it didn't seem to impact my sales at all.

My automatic use of hot spot has been great at this point. I have no idea if this event had wifi but I had zero issues with transactions because I just use hotspot all the time now. My phone had no issues with signal either so it made for a pleasant experience.

I wasn't sure if this counted as a good event but I was told to answer the following questions: Did I make money? Was it organized, advertised, and well run? Were the customers and staff agreeable/kind/professional" etc. 

I had a great time. They had carts you could borrow at the door which wasn't at the last event at all. Staff was willing to help you as needed and even held doors for us when we were coming in AND when we were going out. I made money and had a good time. They even provided us free coffee and water. I would 100% do this event again. It may not be a money maker but everyone was such a delight it is worth it. I met a lot of great artists, the show runners, staff and customers!


The Details (TLDR)

Event: Granite City Bizarre Bazaar Winter Market
Date: December 2, 2023
Location: Tech High School, 4200 33rd St S, St Cloud, MN 56301
Hours: 10am-4pm (mislabeled as 5pm on all ads!), loading time 7:30am
Total Vendors: 90
Attendance: ~2,200
Travelworthy: Good for locals within an hour drive, not worth for anyone out of state.
Booth Cost: $100 for a 10x10 space
Total Sales: $325 (this is before all costs are taken out)
Transaction Fees: $7.79 
Taxes: $23.03
Total Profit: $194.18


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