NOTE: The descriptions of the places in this guide were accurate at the time the articles were posted. Please be advised that you should call ahead before traveling to any of them.

The Virginia Bazaar in Ladysmith, VA - The Name Says It All

By: Michelle Harper

Virginia BazaarFebruary was probably the most inhospitable month for motorcyclists and as such it left VirginiaWind somewhat lacking in opportunities for "Destination" articles. We were restricted to the usual weekend trips to the mall or movies but they soon lost all of their appeal. After an exhaustive search for an indoor activity that would provide great entertainment but wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, we turned to the Virginia Bazaar located in Ladysmith, VA (exit 110 off of I-95). This bargain hunter's Mecca was the perfect solution to the long winter blues. Virginia Bazaar is especially appealing for those hardcore bargain hunters and "seekers of unusual wares" that bemoan the loss of flea markets and yard sales that typically end their season every October.

Virginia Bazaar is the only place in Virginia (probably on the earth) where you can find everything from a "Bongo Beat'n Love Frog" to handmade clothing for your garden goose. You can also find great deals on the more typical items such as fishing tackle, groceries and even motorcycle riding accessories. In fact there are up to 350 spaces for shopping opportunity located along different "streets" inside the 67,000 square feet shopping complex with an additional capacity for 220 outdoor vendors. The wide variety of vendors and the interesting crowds of shoppers promise an interesting afternoon of bargain hunting or just people watching. The friendly atmosphere and special activities occurring throughout the mall contribute to an almost carnival-like atmosphere.

What trip to any mall would be complete without a visit to the Food Court? Once again, Virginia Bazaar proves to be a flea market with flair. Its food vendors offer everything from authentic Italian specialties to the inevitable funnel cakes and large pretzels. We found exceptional bar-be-que at Pig Daddies. By the way if you have a hankering for fried bologna and cheese or fried cabbage, Pig Daddies has got you covered there, too. Rumor has it that they are also working out a fried Snickers recipe which will soon be added to the menu.

We found the entire shopping experience low pressure and very friendly. There seemed to be a real sense of community and not just amongst the vendors. In fact, in an effort to promote the community, Virginia Bazaar offers free space to non-profit organizations on a specially designated weekend. In addition, they offer many other family friendly activities throughout the year including St. Patrick's Family Fun Day in March. Their Calendar of Events has been filled with such activities as a Blue Christmas celebration featuring an Elvis look-alike and a Motorcycle, Car and Truck Show.

If you have to spend your time indoors instead of riding the roads, what better way to spend it than shopping for that one of a kind item that you didn't know you could live without or just spend the day browsing, socializing and dining? Virginia Bazaar's motto says it all - "Everything's here! You should be, too!"

Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM year round
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