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Shopping at Austin’s Bazaars This Christmas

If you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift this year, maybe you should try shopping at a Bazaar – specifically the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin Texas. Austin is known for its eclectic group of artists and craftspeople alike and what better place to bring them all together to examine their wares than an old-fashioned Bazaar? And what better Bazaar to attend than Austin’s oldest, the Armadillo?

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is only open during the holiday season but in that short period of time it is packed with music, activities and lots of shopping. One could almost call it an art fair and music festival rolled into one. The quality of both music and art are so superb that it has become one of Austin’s favorite holiday shopping scenes.

Let’s start with the types of art you will find at the Bazaar. Every year more than 161 artists show their work, but only after having been carefully juried into the show. Hundreds more apply and are rejected. Only the most original, imaginative, creative handcrafted gifts make it into the show. Genres of art include: 2-dimensional art, jewelry, apparel, metalwork, sculpture, glass, home furnishings, ceramics, photography, mixed media, books, woodwork, leatherwork, toys, and more. The style has been labeled from sophisticated to funky.

In addition to the amazing artists, there will be thirty-one live music acts. Music acts are from both first timers to longtime favorites. Music will be performed over the course of the 10-day show.

Other activities beyond the wonderful music and shopping include:

1. Photo Booth – December 17 & 18 from 6 to 10pm – Martin Whitton, Austin’s professional photographer will have a special photo booth with props. He will also have a roaming photographer taking fun pics of people shopping and dancing. Photos will be uploaded and available to order online through his website mwwphoto.com.

2. Non-Profit Booths – Get involved in Austin with the area’s numerous non-profit organizations. Many of these organizations will have booths to promote awareness while celebrating the holiday spirit. Some  of the organizations that will be onsite include: HAAM, Ballet Austin, Austin Lyric Opera, ADAPT, KOOP Radio, Thundering Paws, Texas Hearing and Service Dogs, Austin Green Art, American YouthWorks, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, Mexican American Cultural Center, and Grounded in Music. Come by and find out more about these great organizations and what they are doing for Austin!

3. Cool Postmark For Your Christmas Mail – Someone from the US Post Office will be on site December 15 through the 20th, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 to hand-cancel mail with the special Armadillo Christmas Bazaar postmark. You can then mail your holiday cards from this location.

4. Children’s Show – December 20th. The Biscuit Brothers, whose Emmy Award-winning television show airs on PBS stations across the US, will lead off the afternoon at 12:30–2:30pm. Mary Hattersley’s Blazing Bows, a youngsters’ fiddling group, will play 2:30–3pm. Next up is Sara Hickman’s Family Time Rocks, performing 3:30–6pm. Beatle cover band, The Eggmen, will play for the big kids, 8–11pm. Free face painting and kids activities will be offered in the Community Area.

5. International String- Off Championship – Finally, Christmas eve, at 7:09 p.m. the attempt to throw the most one handed knots on an official Mr. String string in one minute. The “knot heads” are lead by Andy Howard, the Master of Ceremony. All interested “knot heads” are welcome to try-out for the competition to win this prestigious honor and marginal prize.

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar first originated in 1976. It was originally held at the Austin Convention Center in downtown Austin – thus called Armadillo World Headquarters.  Each year the Bazaar grew with attendance starting at 8,000 in 1977 to 18,000 by 1979.

This year, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar will be held at the Palmer Events Center and will be from December 15 -24 from 11 to 11. The Palmers Event Center is located at 900 Barton Springs Road.

Carolyn Boden is a marketing consultant at Belvedere, Texas hill country land for sale real estate community. They sell beautiful hill country acreage located west of Austin near Hamilton Pool. For more information please visit http://www.belvedereaustin.com

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