“Austin’s holiday festivities wouldn’t be complete without the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.”
Quirky, interesting and unique local holiday shopping with live music in the background, Austin’s holiday festivities wouldn’t be complete without the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, now in its 42nd year. The nationally acclaimed fine arts and music festival is the perfect last-minute way to get in holiday spirit, open at the Palmer Events Center through Christmas Eve.
Heirloom pieces, fine art and stocking stuffers line booths set up by award-winning artists. This year’s lineup features nearly two dozen carefully curated newcomers. New additions include local favorites like Dan Grissom of Biscuit Press, plus Artifacts by Nomad, a husband and wife team from Missouri who specialize in one-of-a-kind furniture and lighting made from architectural and industrial salvage.
In addition to new artists, veteran artists also returned this season, including Japanese wood blocking artist Daryl Howard, who has participated in the festival for more than 35 years.
“It is a truly authentic/original Austin show and an Austin tradition,” said Howard. “It features some of the finest art and gift items in the area and in the country. I like the fact that all booths are not cookie-cutter spaces, each has its own personality.”
If all that shopping makes you hungry, you can take advantage of two full bars and local food, all in the festive and lively holiday atmosphere. This year’s food lineup includes Korean Barbeque from Chi’lantro as well as hand tossed Neapolitan style pizza from Southside Flying Pizza Kitchen.
Enjoy your food with an intimate stage reminiscent of old Texas dance halls, at least three live bands play each day on the Armadillo stage. The lineup through Christmas Eve includes local music greats like soul singer, Nakia, three-time Best Blues Album Grammy nominee, Ruthie Foster, the iconic Marcia Ball and The Peterson Brothers. The festival also wouldn’t be complete without Asleep at the Wheel, taking to the stage this Friday at 7pm.
A staple to the Austin holiday season, Armadillo Christmas has plans to return for decades to come.
“The philosophy of community and a commitment to art and music, are what makes the Armadillo the best of Austin’s weird’ and wonderful,” said producer of the event, Bruce Willenzik. “Armadillo will continue to be the place for an authentic live music and art buying experience, where creativity, originality, and fun are celebrated in the true spirit of the holidays.”
Tickets: $8 for a single-day pass. Purchase at the door or in advance here. Children 12 and under get in free.
Cover: The Armadillo photo booth | Jennifer M. Ramos