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Shoppers flock to Bandit Bazaar in Royal Square

Unique and handcrafted Christmas gifts.

That’s what local shoppers were on the hunt for at the Parliament Arts Organization’s first-ever Bandit Bazaar Saturday.

By about 4 p.m., close to 2,000 people had stopped by the Bond in York for the event featuring 30 regional artisan and craft vendors from as far as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

These vendors were selected from about 70 to 80 applicants, according to organizer Alex Dwyer. Items for sale included vintage clothing and records, jewelry, candles, purses, t-shirts, spice blends and decorative mushrooms made from vegan felt. Guests could also purchase Christmas trees from Strathmeyer and food and drinks from area food trucks in the parking lot.

“We wanted an eclectic mix,” Dwyer said. “Handmade, repurposed or vintage.”

Shea Banks, of Red Lion, said he appreciated the variety.

“I wanted to come look at different stuff,” he said. “Not mass-produced stuff you can get anywhere else.”

Others came just to support local business.

“We like little shops popping up and getting to learn more about the local scene,” Katelyn Grim, of Springettsbury Township, said.

Of the 30 vendors, Dwyer said the majority were from Central Pennsylvania.

At events like these, The Parliament likes to target regional vendors as a way to introduce the surrounding market to York City, she said. In October, The Parliament held a similar event at The Bond, which featured skateboard deck artwork by regional artists.

“There’s so much community,” Dwyer said about these types of events. “So many people come out, and it’s always a great time.”