KEEP AUSTIN BAZAAR
Austin's Armadillo Christmas Bazaar to pack in 200 artisans for 2023 holiday mega-market
Holiday shopping in 2023 leaves a lot to be desired. One can brave Jumanji-like stampedes during Black Friday or bask in the blue light of an endless Amazon scroll. No wonder so many people throw up their hands and order a full deck of Starbucks gift cards.
Fortunately, an Austin tradition is still around for those who see gift-giving as an expression of joy. Save the date for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, which will cheerfully fill the Palmer Events Center starting December 15.
The 2023 edition will showcase 200 artists, including nationwide award-winners. Guests will peruse a mind-boggling array of handmade goods, including sculptural fiber art, wall collages, hand-crocheted toys, and ceramics. Creators will be on hand to share their inspiration and accept orders for custom work.
Longtime ‘Dillo revelers will recognize a few friendly faces on the floor. Inspired by singer Lucinda Williams’ wish for a warm, comfortable holiday art market, the Bazaar has attracted crowds since 1975. Multigenerational artists have now become part of the Armadillo family.
This year’s featured artwork by Dan Grissom pays tribute to that legacy with a work inspired by Armadillo lore — incorporating nods to an ‘80s poster, a poinsettia, and the nine-banded armadillo. Look closely for an embedded 709, a number dear to the Bazaar and Armadillo World Headquarters’ history. Chat with a staffer to hear the full story.
New attractions this year include The Armadillo Artway, an interactive activation featuring Ozark’s tintype photo studio; an ornament marbling station from Mercedez Rex; and a project from not-for-profit local magazine Almost Real Things.
Bars will be scattered across the grounds to keep the happening well-fueled. For the first time, the planners have also created a food court underneath the canopy overlooking the park with more culinary choices and ample seating.
From the jump, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has always been one of the season’s hottest destinations for live music, showcasing legendary performers such as Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Charley Crockett, and Rosie Flores. For now, planners are mum on this year’s lineup but will spill the beans on October 23.
Tickets will not be available until that announcement but have been traditionally kept reasonable (last year, guests could grab them for $12 for a one-day pass and $47 for the season). The party will run from 11 am to 9:30 pm daily from December 15-23. While waiting, fans can order essential 2023 merch from the online store.