NEW HAMBURG — People will be able to visit the popular New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale in person this year after a two-year pandemic break.
The New Hamburg fairgrounds will host the event on May 27 and 28, featuring the famous quilt auction and Mennonite food vendors along with new additions for the sale’s return, including a community hymn sing, therapy dogs, an expanded kid zone with a scavenger hunt, and new auctions with a variety of items up for grabs.
“We are excited to be back at the New Hamburg fairgrounds next week,” said organizing team chair John Reimer. “While we pivoted and had online auctions in 2020 and 2021, nothing beats a tea ball or doughnut enjoyed while watching the quilt auction in person.”
The quilt auction is on the Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m. It raises tens of thousands of dollars every year to support Mennonite Central Committee’s relief work around the world.
This year, a donor will match the winning bid of the feature quilt, “Glimpses of Nepal,” in memory of Selina and Tony Brubacher. Selina was an avid quilter and Tony volunteered countless hours for the sale.
The treasure trove auction will be a hybrid in-person and online auction on the Friday starting at 6:30 p.m., featuring vintage quilts, two restored tractors, furniture, collectibles and more. The Work and Play outdoor auction featuring home and garden equipment, hardware, sporting goods and more will start at 10 a.m. on the Saturday for in-person bidding only.
St. John Ambulance will visit the fairgrounds with therapy dogs on Saturday morning.
People are asked to bring emergency supplies to help fill containers destined for Ukraine. The humanitarian agency will be sending relief kits, hygiene kits and especially soap to help the people of Ukraine suffering under the invasion of Russian forces. Needed items include new bath and laundry soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, bath towels, sanitary pads, bandages, combs and nail clippers.
The many volunteers and attendees who come out to the sale year after year are applauded by John Head, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario.
“For 56 years, the community has worked tirelessly to make this a joyful and successful event,” he said. “We are so grateful for all those who put so much time and energy into making this happen.”
On Saturday afternoon, people can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mennonite Central Committee’s warehouse at 65 Heritage Ave. in New Hamburg from 12 to 3 p.m., where the organization gathers supplies sent worldwide to offer comfort to families facing disaster or crisis.
The sale runs every year on the last weekend of May. This year it’s Friday, May 27 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 from 7 a.m. to early afternoon. Find out more at nhmrs.com.